God Bless My Farmers

ironmantra by Shannon Thompson

beet2

Been a while since I did a food post, mainly because no one wants to read about how to eat chunks of tofu dipped in soy sauce standing over the stove picking the broccoli out of the steamer with burning fingers, followed by two bowls of granola with hemp milk in bed. Yep, that’s how bad it’s been. But here we are: I leave for Lake Placid on Tuesday, the race is a week from Sunday. My exercise this week has been cut in half and my nerves are jacked way up. Which means when I got home tonight, I had the time and energy to create a thoughtful meal. And I had some serious inspiration for it.

One of the highlights of my summer is my weekly CSA (community supported agriculture) share from Village Farm in Freedom. The CSA model offers mutual benefits to farmers and consumers alike. I send in my check in the spring, then every week from June to October, I receive a big bag of whatever’s ready for harvest. I’m honored to support the CSA because I think this kind of collaboration is good for people, because small farms are good for the planet, and because my farmer-friends Polly and Prentice are a couple of the finest people you could ever hope to meet.

I also have totally selfish reasons: I love feeling connected to the people who grew my food. I have such gratitude to them for creating this thing that gives me such joy and nourishment. I feel more respect for the food itself. This fresh, local produce is giving me the best nutrients I can get, straight from mama earth. I don’t have to think about what to buy, and I don’t have to go buy it. I get all kinds of things I wouldn’t buy myself. It tastes amazing. And I get an assortment of vegetables that inspire delicious creations. Which brings me to the point of this post: the best salad ever, with thanks to Polly for the recipe idea, which I’ve adapted based on the incredible bounty I found in this week’s share.

Toss together:
3 beets, peeled, sliced, and steamed
About a cup of peas, steamed (I used snap peas because I’m tired but I think shell peas would be nicer)
Fennel bulb, sliced thinly
Garlic scapes, chopped and roasted in a generous amount olive oil
2-3T chopped fresh dill, more if you’d like
Salt to taste
Balsamic vinegar to taste
A little squeeze of lemon if your balsamic is too sweet
More olive oil if you think you need it (I had enough from roasting the scapes, plus I had just eaten a whole avocado when I got home, so, you know.)

Throw on a sprinkle of cashews and marvel at your good fortune.

And oh oh oh: do check out Village Farm’s website. It’s cool.

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What I did:
1.5 hour bike ride, 1/2 hour run