I got my first mobile produce delivery from a local Aquaponics farmer last week! Let me tell you, if you want to sell produce to busy moms, doing a delivery service is the way to go. It was so nice to have all my produce delivered to my door! Now that makes it easy to support local farmers!
I got a grocery bag full of carrots with carrot tops, another bag full of parsley and cilantro, and a third bag full of swiss chard. After my initial “yay, fresh food!” moment though, I realized that I needed to figure out how to use all my new goodies before they were, well, less than fresh. First, I looked up how to store the herbs and Swiss chard so they wouldn’t get all wilty on me. I placed a bouquet each of cilantro and parsley in jars of water which kept it fresh for about a week. I sliced the ends off the chard popped it in a jar of water as well. It looked so pretty with its colorful stems and crisp leaves, I probably could have left it on the table as a decoration and been perfectly happy! I did actually let them sit for a couple of days just so I could enjoy looking at them! Then I cooked half with bacon grease and smoked salt, which was pretty delicious, and blanched and froze the other half. This was my first time blanching a vegetable to freeze. I had always thought that blanching would be too much of a pain, and actually put a good many veggies in the freezer without blanching them. I ended up with some very, shall we say, chewy? green beans that I froze without blanching. They are OK for soup, but I think I will be blanching my green beans next year. It really wasn’t hard at all to blanch the chard and freeze it.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Heat a pot of water to boiling while you chop your chard. Prepare a large bowl of ice cold water in the sink.
2. Immerse the chard for two minutes in the boiling water.
3. Strain the chard and immerse in ice cold water immediately.
4. Shake off excess water and spread the chard on a cookie sheet and one layer.
5. Put a cookie sheet in the freezer for about 20 minutes or until the chard has frozen. (this step makes it so when you freeze your chard in the bag you have separate pieces rather than one large chunk.)
6. Use a turner to remove the chard from the cookie sheet and put it in a freezer bag.
7. Freeze immediately. Enjoy later!
I hate to let anything go to waste, so I looked up recipes that use carrot tops, and found this cool recipe for Carrot Top Pesto. I love putting pesto on my pizza, but this recipe suggests adding it to grilled cheese which sounds fabulous!
Update: I meant to publish this back in March, but I forgot to publish it publicly, so here it is in May! I am still enjoying fresh carrots from Leesville Aquaponics, along with green beans, zucchini, and salad greens from their greenhouse, and I can’t wait to start harvesting from my little garden!
Do you have a local source of produce? Support your local farmers or better yet, be your own local farmer and grow some of your own food!