LocalHarvest Newsletter, August 30, 2013

Welcome back to the LocalHarvest newsletter.

A perfect August Saturday morning for me looks like this: a little sleeping in, a little breakfast, and then a walk downtown with hubby and daughter, maybe stopping for a cup of coffee before making our way to the farmers market. The trick is to feel like we're not rushing, but also to not lollygag and miss all the good stuff. We also like to take our time once we get there. We chat with vendors and friends, get pastries and find a bench where we can eat and people-watch, and then we walk around again and buy whatever looks good. After an hour or so we amble on home, bags heavy with produce. We unpack, and when we get hungry make a simple lunch like tomato-cucumber-feta salad (a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar - so simple, so good) and broiled eggplant with mozzarella on toast. It's the kind of morning and the kind of meal that make us feel rich.

All summer, but especially in August and September, I go to the market with my freezer in mind. If I'm buying eggplants, say, I might buy two for the aforementioned meal and two to freeze. For those who enjoy farm-fresh food but don't care to can or dehydrate food, freezing is a great option. It's quick and easy, and can be done in small batches. Not a lot of freezer space? Then choose just a few of summer's treats to take with you into the winter. Here are a few things I'm hoping to have in my freezer by summer's end.

Berries: Couldn't be easier - just put them in quart-sized freezer bags and lay flat in the freezer. Great for smoothies and muffins.

Eggplant: Roasted eggplant freezes well, in slices or whole fruit. We make baba ghanoush with ours in the winter, as the texture breaks down a bit in the freezer.

Bell peppers: Easy as berries - just quarter them, remove seeds and put in freezer bags for use in winter chili, pizza, eggs, etc. Or roast them and then freeze - beautiful.

Tomatoes: These can also just be quartered and put in freezer bags for use in winter chili, soups, and sauces. You can remove the skins before freezing if you like. It's a little extra work, but not hard, and makes a smoother final product. A third, and most succulent, option is to roast them and then use in quiches, on pizza, in soups, wherever a sweet, slightly acidic kick would be welcome.

Winter squash: Halve, roast, scoop out of shell, and freeze. We put it in quart sized yogurt containers and use to make squash soup all winter long.

The beautiful thing about all of these projects is that if you prep a little extra produce when making summer meals, you can set yourself up for beautiful winter meals with very little extra work.

I know that many of you are food preservers extraordinaire. What are your favorite things to get at the farmers market and put by? We'd love to hear.

This month we're announcing a partnership with the recipe site, Yummly. See below!

Until next time, take good care and eat well.

Erin Barnett

Use CSAware and Get New Members Through LocalHarvest!

Just today one of our account managers got a call from a CSAware client saying how thrilled she is to be getting so many customers through LocalHarvest. New members are just one click away from your sign-up page when they find you on LocalHarvest.

Been thinking about learning more about CSAware?

Call today for an online tour: 888-218-2466

From the LocalHarvest Store:

CSAs - they aren't just for summers anymore! The LocalHarvest directory includes more than 1000 CSAs that offer winter shares, many of whom sell these shares through our store or through their own CSAware systems. To see if there's one near you, click here and then enter your zip code to narrow the search.

The passion fruit season is going strong. If you're a fan, get yours here. Quick, before you have to wait another whole year.

In many parts of the country, it's time to start planning the fall garden. Running low on seeds for some of your favorite cool season veggies? Seeds for fall garden can be found in plenty in our seed department.

Our New Recipe Partner: Yummly

For the last few months I've been writing about what to do with beautiful local food once you bring it home. You know the feeling, "Oh, these beets were so beautiful at the market I just had to buy four bunches! But, err, what am I going to do with them?" We all need culinary inspiration now and again. Enter Yummly, a great resource for recipes from all over the Internet. More...