2016AugustCSA

CSA products delivered to Benicia on August 31: fresh organic produce from Terra Firma, Manila clams from Siren Fish, raw milk from Real Food Bay Area and pastured organic ground beef and eggs from Tara Firma Farm. All within 40 miles from Benicia! – eat locally.

Benicia’s Farmers’ Market is a Thursday evening event, but with the shortening hours, we are sadly going to miss it when it closes October 27th. However, now is a good time to remember that CSAs deliver right to Benicia and many are available year-round. Locally grown tomatoes, garlic, and green beans…  Sustainably harvested seafood delivered within 72 hours of being caught… Humanely raised meats from Petaluma… Raw milk delivered the same day as the morning milking…These are all food items that are offered by our local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) partners.

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Azure Standard delivers bulk foods to Benicia once a month.

Tara Firma Farms delivers bulk foods to Benicia once a week.

Terra Firma Farms delivers bulk foods to Benicia once a week.

Real Food Bay Area delivers bulk foods to Benicia once a week.

Siren Fish Co. delivers bulk foods to Benicia once a week.

Shooting Star delivers bulk foods to Benicia once a week.

Sometimes it can be hard to know where to start, so we asked some of our local chefs and food enthusiasts what they order from the CSA’s.

Stephanie taught our first Chefs in the Garden Series on Alternative Pestos

Whitney taught  “Chefs in the Garden: Salad Dressings from Scratch”

Whitney Sutterley

BCG: Do you subscribe to a CSA?

Whitney: I currently subscribe to Tara Firma, Terra Firma, and Real Food Bay Area  (I plan on subscribing to Siren as well).  From Tara Firma I receive eggs, chicken, and small amounts of red meat.  From Terra Firma, I receive their weekly box–the small size works well for my 2-person household.  From RFBA, I receive dairy, cod liver oil, and rice.

BCGWhat do you like best about your subscription?

Whitney: Once you get into the habit of picking up the boxes (on Wednesdays, in Benicia), it really is much easier than grocery shopping.  The quality is superior and you’re supporting local food producers.  Tara Firma and RFBA allow me to choose what I want to buy each week or every week, and Terra Firma sends a lovely, seasonal variety of fruits and vegetables.  

BCG: What are you using out of your boxes AT THIS VERY MOMENT/WEEK? And what are you making with it?

Whitney: At this very moment, I am making chicken soup with vegetables, beans, and rice; I’m making yogurt (very easy!), and maybe some pesto, if I have time later.  I have some music playing in the background while I work.  The soup is for dinner for the next few nights; the yogurt is for smoothies and such; the pesto will hopefully go with homemade pasta, if I feel like making some!  Otherwise, I use it on some beef later this week


Stephanie Oelsligle

BCG: Do you subscribe to a CSA?

Stephanie: Yes, I do subscribe to a CSA!  It’s Terra Firma (in Winters, CA), which provides fruit, vegetables, and sometimes nuts like walnuts and pistachios.  I’m hoping to look into Siren soon, for seafood. 

BCG: What do you like best about your subscription?

 Stephanie: My father was a farmer, so I understand the work, the challenges and also the gratification of farming.  It’s nice to support smaller, local farmers through subscribing to a CSA.  Also, it’s fun for me as a chef to figure out what to do with the different produce that arrives each week.  (Kind of like a mini “Iron Chef”, but family-friendly!)

BCG: What are you using out of your boxes AT THIS VERY MOMENT/WEEK? And what are you making with it?

Stephanie: Right now in my fridge I have tomatoes that I slow-roasted in the oven with minced garlic, olive oil, fresh basil, salt & pepper.  They add tremendous flavor to turkey/chicken sandwiches, and it’s also yummy on crostini spread with goat cheese.  I do a lot of grilled vegetables (there’s grilled zucchini, yellow squash and bell peppers in my fridge right now too), because it’s a fast and easy way to get some cooking done on a weeknight while my two kids are outside on the loose.  I also have a homemade loaf of zucchini bread, which I made into French toast the other day (a little decadent – you should try it!)  I’m not sure yet what I’m doing with the Shishito peppers….but I also have some Asian eggplant right now, so it might turn into a stir-fry.  I also think they would be good sautéed with fresh corn, like a succotash.  Everyone in my house loves fruit of all kinds, so the grapes and peaches usually get eaten up before I have a chance to make anything from them (but if I did have time, peach salsa on a thick, grilled pork chop would be tasty….or chicken salad with grapes, scallions & poppy seeds).  As for the small watermelon in today’s box…..it was on the counter for about an hour before my 3-year-old spied it and wanted some.  He polished off nearly half of it!