Farm to table

Hi friends- hope you’re all having a wonderful week so far. Thank you so much for your awesome feedback on the candy corn popcorn! It’s evilly delicious. Now, let’s just take things *a little* towards the opposite end of the spectrum; like this box of organic produce I ordered from Sunizona Farms.

Photo

While the Pilot and I were enjoying a date night at Acacia, I noticed a little stack of cards on the hostess stand. The words “certified organic” along with the illustration of carrots were like a beacon in the night- just what I have been looking for since we moved to Tucson! It’s funny because usually when we move to a new place, I’ll think to myself “awww, I miss having access to [insert whatever I’m missing or craving at that time].” This can range from Hobby Lobby in Valdosta (we’re FINALLY getting one in Tucson! Be still my 50%-off-loving-heart), the yoga studios in Orlando, or the farm where we’d get our eggs. It’s really a matter of finding the local version of whatever I’m missing, even though it takes some time. I was so excited to see that we could order a box from Sunizona to be picked up from one of the local restaurants (they supply produce for Zona 78 and Acacia).

I eagerly went online and chose a custom box, which was ready for pickup the next day. 

In our box:

-2 lbs gala apples

-pears

-a HUGE beefsteak tomato

-2 squash

-1 zucchini

-curly kale

-romaine

-carrots

-an acorn squash

All certified organic and veganically grown, for $22- much less than I would have spent at the grocery store for the same items. I’m pretty thrilled to be able to do this every week, and bonus, it cuts way down on our grocery shopping time. It was so weird to go to Trader Joe’s for meat, milk, berries, avocados, bananas and eggs. That was it.

Juice

In the meantime, Liv, the Pilot and I have been enjoying the bountiful fruit and veggies. As delicious and fresh as everything has been, I’ve been especially happy with the greens. I may be spoiled from the bagged stuff from now on.

MY OTHER VIDEOS

Salad

I’ve also juiced a little bit (shared a little apple, kale and carrot juice with Liv and she went crazy for it),

Juice 2

and also had a successful reunion with the feared acorn squash.

The secret? Cook it in the slow cooker.

Acorn squash

All I did was cut it in half, scoop the seeds and ick out, and then put it face down (skin side up) in the slow cooker with a few inches of water. Cooked on low while I went to work for the afternoon (6 hours) and it was perfect when I got home.

I topped it with homemade or a la jar marinana,

Sauce

with chicken sausage, fresh basil and goat cheese.

Squash

Perfection.

Squash 2

Does anyone belong to a CSA or similar organization? Sunizona also has a farm day each month when subscribers can visit the farm and enjoy a vegan meal- I’m looking forward to a trip out there with the family. If you could get rid of one errand or chore forever, what would you choose? I haaaaate the laundry, but I’ve been following this cleaning chart and doing a load each day- makes it much more manageable.

Hope you have a lovely night and I’ll see ya in the morning.

xoxo

Gina

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43 Comments

  1. Blog is the New Black on October 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    All that fresh produce looks amazing! I am dying to join a CSA (I know that’s not what you did!) but all the ones I could find around me had a waiting list and your post just reminded me to try to get it on it for 2013!

  2. Natalie @ FreshLifeFindings on October 11, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    I think CSA farms/boxes are such a great idea! You received such a great box of produce goodies! I hope once we get settled to join a program like this. And that acorn squash with goat cheese and marinara looks divine!

  3. Emily @ Have Your Cake And on October 11, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    I’m majorly jealous of that box of goodies! I need to find something like that here.. Also thank you for linking to that cleaning/chore list I definitely needed something like that to get my butt on track haha

  4. Lisa on October 11, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    We get a box from a CSA as well, but it’s not enough for us. We go through triple what we get, so I still have to go to my farmers market to supplement.

  5. jamie on October 11, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    I just signed up for my first farm share CSA, and after years of spending hours in the produce department every week, getting every single veggie for every single recipe, I am so so happy!! It was exhausting and some would always go to waste. Now we get a box of organic seasonal fall produce, and now I get a week’s worth of yummies that go into every meal I make, and it doesn’t get wasted! It tastes so much better, and it kind of makes it more exciting in the kitchen. I never cooked a rutabaga before, and I made fries out of them this week. And i totally get only buying meat, etc. from the store. So weird!

  6. jamie on October 11, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    If anyone is looking for a CSA in their area, this website will find you one. This is how I found the one I use in my area! http://www.localharvest.org/

  7. Liza on October 11, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Just curious Gina, what did you mean by the dreaded acorn squash? And that is a sweet deal on the produce!

  8. Alicia on October 11, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    I am thinking about getting some things shipped to the house like that but I haven’t found the right place here yet. Give us more updates on how it works out please!

    • Fitnessista on October 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      i definitely will!

  9. Melissa on October 11, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    What a coincidence – I too just got my first FarmBox from Sunizona this week! For anyone else in Arizona (check their website, they have pickup locations everywhere!), this is an excellent CSA. It’s actually more like shopping online for your produce (and awesome vegan goodies from their bakery), although they also have traditional CSA boxes available too. Everything I got was also great (awesome Almond Thumbprint Cookies that didn’t make it home) and I’m looking forward to visiting their farm at the end of the month.

    • Fitnessista on October 12, 2012 at 12:58 am

      yay, i’ll see you there 🙂

  10. Shaina Anderson on October 12, 2012 at 12:16 am

    I LOVE the box of goodies on our porch every Wednesday morning! I also hate laundry, but now that we have a 4 month old and are doing cloth diapers, its just a part of my daily routine. 🙂

    If I never had to scrub a bathtub again, my life would be complete.

    • Fitnessista on October 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      how do you like cloth?

      • Shaina Anderson on October 13, 2012 at 12:54 am

        I like them! I agree that they are a little bulky, but now that Tripp has gotten bigger it doesn’t seem as bad. Newborns in bulky cloth diapers —-> comical. I don’t mind the cleanup….we got enough to where I only have to do a load every other day. He’s never even had a hint of diaper rash and definitely gets cranky over a dirty diaper faster in cloth than disposables, which I’m hoping helps when it comes to potty training. We use disposables when traveling and I honestly like the cloth better. Have you noticed the little gel particles on Liv’s diaper area when she’s wet? I don’t like that aspect of disposables.

  11. Brooke (beingvivacious.blogspot.com) on October 12, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Yum. I have been considering signing up for a farm share at a place near me. They also have days where you can volunteer to harvest for an afternoon and fill crates to send to soup kitchens. But anyway, this is swaying me more towards biting the bullet and just getting the dang farm share.

  12. Averie @ Averie Cooks on October 12, 2012 at 1:41 am

    I have belonged to a CSA on and off for about 8 or 9 years. I love it at times, but I can’t pick what I want. I get what I get. And sometimes that works out great, other times Im drowning in greens and have no fruit. So greens nearly get wasted and I still have to buy fruit, or vice versa. But at other times, it works out great and I save $$. Regardless, supporting local farms is awesome. Congrats on yours!

  13. Tracy on October 12, 2012 at 6:58 am

    I’ve belonged to a CSA for about 5 years now and I love it! Mine runs from May through December and it averages out to $15/week which is a STEAL for local and organic produce!! I live in PA and it’s so much fun to see the range of fresh produce that we get. In the earlier summer months, we get lots of strawberries and spring lettuces. In the peak of summer, we get corn, melons, and lots of tomatoes (among a zillion other things). Now we are seeing kale, cabbage, squashes, etc… I look forward to it each week. You will too! 🙂

  14. Rachel on October 12, 2012 at 6:58 am

    That is farm-to-table genius. Now you need to find a local dairy to deliver milk to your door once a week, the “old fashioned” way! We’ve had a weekly milkman for 2 years now and I don’t think we could ever go back to store milk. When I do miscalculate and we need to buy a gallon or half gallon to finish out the week, we trek to the family-owned grocery store that stocks our dairy’s milk. Also, this winter I signed up for a “Meat CSA” from a farm school where my friend has worked for the last year. Starting in November and going til March, I get to pick up one box of farm fresh, frozen meat per month and get a little closer to the source of my meat eating. I don’t normally eat red meat or pork because I’m unsure of it’s origins, but I sense this is going to be totally different — I know the farmer! I’m so glad I have an extra freezer in the basement to keep all this glorious food in!

    Now, dear Boston restaurants, can you take a page out of Tucson’s book here and get a sweet deal like this? I’d do it in a heartbeat!

  15. Kristen on October 12, 2012 at 7:08 am

    I have been looking into this and I actually have a CSA right up the road! I had no idea. I’m a tad late for this year’s party, but next year is right around the corner. I’m for sure signing up. I’m not sure if I can pick my own produce or not. If not, then I’ll just think of it as a fun challenge. Whatever is in my box, I’ll figure out some way to make a meal out of it. It may force me to get creative in the kitchen!

    While I was looking for that online, I also found out there is a farmers market every Thursday with a ton of local produce about 5 miles from my house!! I didn’t think I lived under a rock but obviously I do. WHYYYY have I not known about this. In my defense, it just opened last year, but still! Now I know 🙂

  16. Anne on October 12, 2012 at 7:25 am

    That’s so cool, I had no idea you could specify what you want from a CSA I might have to look future into one!

    Acorn with meat sauce is such a great idea!!!

  17. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on October 12, 2012 at 7:49 am

    I would love to join a CSA! But since I only cook for myself, I’m worried I wouldn’t be able to use up all the veggies before they go bad! Plus I like my Saturday morning tradition of going to the farmer’s market. 😀

    • Fitnessista on October 12, 2012 at 1:02 pm

      do you have a juicer? anything we have left, i just throw in the juicer and drink it 🙂

  18. Danielle@cleanfoodcreativefitness on October 12, 2012 at 8:10 am

    That fresh produce looks amazing! I love that you can you choose a custom box of what you like! My biggest fear with a CSA is not liking some of the items I get! I’m going to have to search for something like this near me! All the fresh veggies in this post are making me want some!

  19. Cassie @ CassieRanae.com on October 12, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Yep, just joined a co-op last week, and I have no idea why I didn’t do it before. I already buy pretty much everything organic, and I fly through produce like it’s my job. Now, each week I’m getting local and/or organic fruits and veggies, supporting local farmers that are doing things organically (just without the certification), AND the stuff I’m getting is seasonal. I’ll definitely be encouraging friends to join, too.

  20. Pinky on October 12, 2012 at 8:42 am

    I’ve been part of a CSA for the past 3 years and I LOVE IT! We aren’t able to choose what we want, but always have an email the week of so we know what to expect. It has been a great way to learn new recipies to incorporate different types of veggies.

    The farm is about 45 minutes away from where I live, so we also have the option of going out and walking around the farm too. He has given apple cider lessons and let’s us glean at the end of the season. Fresh is always best and locally grown is my new cause.

    xoxo

  21. Carrie on October 12, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Looks delish! We joined a CSA for the first time this year, and we like, but don’t love it. It’s a “standdard share” rather than pick what you want, and frequently, it’s just more than we can eat. I’ve been freezing a lot, but I’m about out of room! Also, turns out I’m not really a fan of bok choy. So I’m going to freeze that and hope it can replace the kale in my smoothies for a while.

    By the way, don’t forget that you can roast the seeds from any squash, not just pumpkin. I took my butternut and acorn abundance last week and roasted them in place of my usual pumpkin (use whatcha got, right?), and roasted up all the seeds. Yummy! It’s a shame to throw them out.

    • Fitnessista on October 12, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      ohh i love that idea! thank you, i’ll do that next time. they make such great salad toppings

  22. Emily on October 12, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Barbara Kingsolver’s book “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” is amazing and inspired me to eat local as much as humanly possible (she and her family did an experiment where they grew lots of their own food and ate only local for one full year). Our CSA is ok, not nearly as great an arrangement as you’ve got there with your box. We only get tiny portions of stuff, whereas with most CSAs they distribute the entire crop evenly so you share in the risk and the rewards when you buy a share. On the plus side, though, we support local organic farming (in the city of Detroit) and help them grow their farms, so I’m ok with it in the end. LOCAL IS EVERYTHING!!

  23. Lissy on October 12, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I’ve been following the same cleaning chart 😀 Well, I was until they started on our bathroom remodeling. That kinda turned the house upside-down.

  24. Chelsea @ Chelsea Eats Treats on October 12, 2012 at 9:44 am

    I love that you can customize your box!! I have tried CSAs before a couple of times through a Living Social deal and although I was excited to try the new produce, I still had to go out and buy my regular staples that didn’t come in the box (for example, mine was over the summer so my box included fingerling potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, onions, cantaloupe, and a few squash, but then I still had to go to the store to buy lettuce, carrots, apples, spinach, etc.) If I could find a program like yours I would be sooooo happy! This has inspired me to keep looking 🙂

  25. Laura on October 12, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I am not part of a CSA but I feel like I get a similar experience when I go to the farmer’s market with a strict budget but no meal plan. It always pushes me to be more creative. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on October 12, 2012 at 1:00 pm

      i love doing that- it forces me to get a little more exciting with our meals 🙂

  26. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on October 12, 2012 at 10:55 am

    I wish I had a CSA by me! That is something I definitely want to subscribe to one day!

  27. Megan (healthgeekchic) on October 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I just got an email yesterday that I finally made it onto my local CSA order (there was a waiting list!!) I cant wait to try new veggies I normally dont pick up at the store. Also, I didnt know you could cook the acorn in the slow cooker….its may FAVORITE fall food!! I usually roast it in the oven on 400F until soft and yummy but I might just try the slowcooker method this wknd! Thanks!!

  28. Gennt Gaus on October 12, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    I absolutely hate doing dishes! Disgusting.

    • Fitnessista on October 12, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      hey girl, i think we’re going to try and make it to your show monday night! i want to surprise char- we haven’t seen him in forever. looking forward to seeing you, too 🙂

  29. Madi on October 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    That squash looks so good!

    PS You are my “mom inspiritation” whenever I tell people I want to feed my kids whole healthy food, they laugh in my face! and look you are living proof 🙂

  30. Allison on October 12, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    1. Salad beasts are amazing and its a disgrace how long its been since I ate one!!

    2. Hobby Lobby has an app and you can see everything thats on sale that week AND have access to the coupon so you don’t always have to google it on your phone when you get to the register:):):)

  31. Julie on October 12, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I belong to a CSA here in Atlanta, Carlton Farms, and they are great. 275.00 for 11 weeks of weekly vegetables. This week was a beautiful eggplant, a bunch of kale, a bunch of arugula, bunch of radishes, spinach, 5 delicious apples, some black eye peas (fresh), Rainbow Chard, 2 butternut squash, and some gorgeous artisan lettuce (AKA, I haven’t figured out what type it is yet). I juiced the greens last night because I have a monster cold and haven’t been eating since Saturday because sinus draining = sore throat, fever, and nausea. Made for tasty juice.

    My chore I hate (though not really a chore) is eating. I love buying groceries, mildly like cooking things, but I hate the physical time suck of eating. I barely do 2 meals a day because I put off eating so much. I make meals as simple as possible for this reason (I eat the same things day after day for weeks on end for convenience). Luckily I love vegetables so I am a relatively healthy vegan. I do love my dried fruits, though!

  32. Bek @ Crave on October 12, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    That’s so cool! And cheaper? I never would have thought!

  33. Life's a Bowl on October 14, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    I’ve been debating joining a CSA for a few months but haven’t hard much of any in our area- there are definitely a handful of them, I just don’t know which ones are the winners… I picked-up an acorn squash at Trader Joe’s this weekend and had no clue how to cook it! Guess I’ll be putting the crock pot to use 😉

  34. Alexis Barry on October 15, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    I am so jealous of that box! It looks so yummy! I think it’s awesome that you can custom make your own box of fresh organic produce, and at such an inexpensive price. I wish we had something like that here in Louisiana. It’s so hard to get produce like that here, especially for college students. We tend to take what we can get. And if you’re like me, make the occasional trip to Whole Foods. In my opinion the population as a whole needs to start making more healthy food choices. Particularly here in the South where our culture is so centered around food.

  35. Jenine on October 22, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Hi! I’m new to your blog and also living in Tucson…I’m not sure if you have found local fresh eggs, but I believe there is a farmer who sells them at the farmer’s market at Udall Park on the weekends…I have some friends who absolutely love them! I am off to check out Sunizona’s website! I used to do the organic basket from Bountiful Baskets on Saturday’s, but it’s nice to have the option to choose what you’re getting…

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