This is our third season as members of Farm Direct Coop, a local CSA (don't know what that is? click here). FDC is somewhat unique in that rather than using one farm, and picking up a box of pre-packed fruits and vegetables, we contract with more than one farm (within 100 mile radius, most within MA), and get to choose much of our take. I joined for many of the 'usual' reasons - supporting local agriculture, cost-effective way to buy organic produce, so fresh, yada yada. This winter though, I read Barbara Kingsolver's Animal Vegetable Miracle, and that book solidified for me the importance of biodiversity in our food supply, the importance of local food economies, and the importance of leaving the agro-industry without my hard earned dollars. I highly recommend her book, as well as any of Michael Pollan's if you are curious about these issues.
AVM chronicles a year of local eating in the Kingsolver family. Virtually all of the food they consumed was either home grown, home raised, or sourced from their own county. While I'm not intending to do anything that radical, I intend to put up, either can, freeze or dry, at least half of our produce for this winter. I'm not married to this goal, but I'm curious to see how much I can do. So for tonight, I have four 8 oz jars of (the most ridiculously delectable EVER) rhubarb-strawberry jam, and a quart of sliced rhubarb in the freezer.
Our first take of the season - large fruit, small vegetable:
A bunch of kale, a beautiful head of romaine, kohlrabi, brocoli (squee!), a quart of strawberries, and 2 pounds of rhubarb.
Making the jam:
Reducing the juices into a syrup:
This picture does no justice to the color of this concoction.
The fruit pulp:
Ladling into jars:
The finished product!