I am officially a resident of Portland, OR. Wahoo!
We actually arrived about a month ago and have been busy in a blur of unpacking, organizing, and exploring the city. Our first few weeks were a difficult adjustment period- especially for the pups. They really miss their huge yard! But after a month, the apartment feels more like home and we’ve all settled in.
This week was a very exciting one because we got to pick up our first box of yummy goodies from the Hillsdale Farmer’s Market last Sunday. Before moving to PDX, we spent a lot of time researching CSA’s (it stands for Community Shared Agriculture) and decided to sign up with Gathering Together Farms. From mid-June through November we will receive a box of organic veggies (and sometimes fruit) from the farmer’s market every week! It’s an awesome program and we’ve wanted to sign up for one for years now. We’re lucky to be living in Oregon because the state has so many options for healthy, organic produce!
Here is everything that came in the first week’s box:
- 1 head cabbage
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1 large bunch of carrots
- 3 cucumbers
- 3 zucchini
- 1 bunch of fresh oregano (smells so amazing!!)
- 2 storage onions
- 1.5 lbs of golden potatoes
- 2 types of greens for salad
The awesome thing about the CSA is the value. All of the above produce, when purchased organically at a supermarket here in PDX, would be at least $30— if not much more. The CSA is a big cost up front ($550 for the entire season) but ends up being only $25 per week with a 22-week run. I plan to do a cost comparison a few times over the summer to see how things tally up and determine if we’re saving money after all.
Either way, we love supporting a local farm and getting a box of new veggies every week (usually freshly picked within 24 hours of delivery!). It’s already encouraged us to eat healthier and try new recipes! On Tuesday we used the cabbage to make Fried Cabbage and Kielbasa, which was a pretty yummy meal, and definitely not something we’ve ever tried before! Tomorrow we’re planning to roast the zucchini with some garlic, olive oil, and parmesan to go with parmesan crusted pork chops for dinner. YUM! We’ve also used CSA veggies for a lot of our classic dishes like fried breakfast potatoes and a summer salad, and all of the scraps went into the stock pot to make a huge batch of veggie broth!
Tomorrow we pick up our box for week #2 and I can’t wait!
If you live in Oregon, check out the Portland Area CSA Coalition website for more info on local farms and signing up for a CSA share. The website is specific to the Portland area but many of the same farms sell at farmers markets in cities like Eugene, Bend, and Salem in addition to PDX.