I am a big believer in the concept of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. If you’re new to the idea, the gist is that you support a local farmer by giving them a lump sum of cash to help them through the lean months. That investment bears fruit during the growing season in the form of weekly or bi-weekly boxes of produce for you to take home and enjoy.
I’ve been a member of several different CSAs over the years and sadly, they always left me feeling like something was missing. Ideally, a CSA should be more than just an opportunity to streamline your grocery shopping, it should give you a sense of connection and appreciation for where your food is coming from. And it’s a bonus if they happen to know your name.
Happily, I can report that I am beyond delighted by my CSA this year. The farm is Down to Earth Harvest and it’s located in Kennett Square (one of my very favorite Philadelphia-region towns). The pick-up site is my local Saturday farmers’ market at Rittenhouse Square and the farm crew is totally friendly (hi Robert, Phil and Shanna!).
A few weeks back, before the official start of the CSA season, I made my way to their table at the market and introduced myself. We got to talking and Robert asked me what I suggested they do with the glut of spring onions that were soon to be ready for picking. I offered a few ideas and they filled my arms with onions so that I could do a bit of testing. I tried pickling the white stems whole, but then turned bitter and woody (I now think they’d be better suited to a sliced pickle – live and learn).
My preserving mojo wasn’t entirely off though. I used this ramp greens kimchi recipe and turned the spring onion greens into some of the best, most flavorful, most interesting kimchi I’ve ever eaten. I took a jar over to the Down to Earth crew this last Saturday to try and once I assured them that they weren’t going to be painfully spicy, they were taken aback by how tasty those onion greens gotten (and here they’d been sending them into the compost bin).
I’m not going to re-write the recipe here, because other than switch one green for another, I really didn’t do anything different from what the Tigress did. I highly recommend this treatment if you’ve got a bunch of onion greens to use. I’ve started planning meals around this kimchi and I’m hoping to make another batch before the season is over.