Summer farm share is here!

Yesterday was a really good day.
My ten year old, Eli, came to work with me to help out with lunch and the weekly shopping trip. We knew it would be a busy day, but when we arrived at BCS to start work Sarah reminded us that it was also the first farm share pick up of the summer at the Intervale Center.  Yes!!!! I couldn't have picked a better day to bring along a kid assistant!

We couldn't wait to get to the barn, and when we arrived our excitement was matched by the enthusiasm and warmth of the volunteers who met us. I am slightly biased, because one of those volunteers is a fantastic BCS parent/board member/fundraiser/cheerleader  I'm always happy to spend a few minutes (or an hour) catching up with. But truly, the whole operation is really something special. We were greeted by folks who happily retrieved our 2 giant boxes of produce from the gorgeous new walk-in fridge inside the new barn, and then cheerfully packed it all into our van. Really!
All Eli and I had to do was sample the delicious snacks that were on hand.
Hunger Free VT had a representative there  (Hi Becca!) demonstrating a few recipes using some of the veggies everyone was receiving this week - frittata with zucchini and basil, and cucumbers with homemade ranch dressing. We couldn't wait around for the frittata to finish cooking sadly, but the ranch dressing was incredibly good.

Becca also had some great handouts with local resources for extra food during the summer, recipes for the veggies in our shares, and info about shopping and meal planning on a budget.  Really well done, and useful info too.

Basically, this project is great and I'm so proud of everyone involved with it, especially the folks who are accessing this awesome local food.  It makes me proud of our town. Go Burlington!

But the best part... serving up local greens for lunch today.

We even had visitors! Margot's parents stopped by and joined us for turkey burgers, Digger's Mirth greens, and pineapple.

 Ahhh summer!

Take home bags are taking off... a really big way. It's hard to believe we are in our fifth month of the take home food bag project! We raised enough money during the marathon fundraiser to keep things going strong while we come up with new funding ideas. (Side note: I'm working on a grant proposal for Hannaford  - our neighborhood supermarket - in hopes that they will support our effort with a donation, especially since we buy almost all of the food for the bags there.)
The response to the program has been so good that we've permanently upped our weekly offering from 5 to 10 bags, and we're getting great feedback from the families who are taking and enjoying them.

We've moved from sending bags of staple ingredients for a variety of meals to packing bags with all the ingredients to prepare a large meal for a family - along with a few extras. So far we've packed bags with everything folks need to make homemade macaroni and cheese with salad, lasagna, curry chick peas and rice,

BCS kiddo Cabby enjoys Curry chick peas and rice at home
Empty curry bowl, full belly!

breakfast for dinner with pancakes and eggs, and the big favorite... pizza.

Pizza made at home for a family of 4 with a take home pizza bag! (photo provided by BCS family)
We generally include a great loaf of bread (which we've been lucky enough to recieve donated from August First Bakery) and a big bag of fresh greens from Digger's Mirth Farm - with whom we are lucky enough to have a close BCS family connection (thank you S'ra and Arlo!).

Homemade croutons with August First bread! (photo provided by BCS family)
We've gotten tons of great feedback are and thrilled to see that the bags really are helping families cook and eat together, and we are so thankful for everyone who has sent photos and kind words about how they've used the extra food, tried out the recipes, and shared a great meal together at home.

This week we are sending home bags with the recipe and ingredients for my easy tomato sauce...

 along with pasta, bread, greens, eggs, zucchini and carrots, a ball of pizza dough, and olive oil.  Sarah even made a zucchini cheat sheet with ideas for using up the ubiquitous Vermont summer veggie...

On top of all that, Monday marks the beginning of our summer farm share program through the Intervale Food Hub, so we will have even more fresh veggies and fruit to feed to the kids and send home with families.
Hooray for summer in Vermont, for our farmers, and for everyone having enough to eat!

Take Care,