Dirt(y) girl

One of my favourite childhood memories involves the taste of dirt. Really.

When I was but a wee lass, I’d venture into my parents’ garden (keep in mind that I’m from the country, so our “garden” was the size of a football field) and check out the goods. I’d eat raspberries right off the bushes. I’d pop tomatoes into my mouth like they were candy.

But my favourite thing to do was to pull up carrots. I’d brush off the dirt and crunch down on those bad boys like there was no tomorrow. That’s real country livin’ there, folks.

Fast-forward 20 years later: I still love fresh, straight-from-the-garden produce, especially when it has the taste remnants of soil on it. Weird? Abso-friggin’-lutely. But every time I taste a vegetable or fruit that’s just been picked from the garden, I’m instantly transported to my childhood. And hey, dirt tastes better than pesticide (that’s my justification, anyway).

Since my boyfriend and I have adopted a healthier lifestyle, we’ve been going through a ridiculous amount of produce, so much so that our grocery bills are nearly entirely devoted to fruits and veggies. This year, however, we decided to sign up for a CSA (community-supported agriculture) share.

Every week, we get a huge box of fresh, local produce from a nearby market, filled to the brim with chemical-free goodness. Nine farmers and food producers contribute food so there is always variety. So far, we’ve received kale, lettuce, green onions, dill, basil, rhubarb, strawberries, zucchini, garlic scapes, peppers, carrots, honey and more — and that’s just in the first two weeks.

What I love about this CSA is that it’s forcing us to cook with stuff we normally wouldn’t look at twice (ahem, kale). I already made an amazing (clean) rhubarb-blueberry crisp, and we tried our hands at kale and garlic scape pizza the other day (recipe here). Nom nom nom.

The best part of the CSA? Much of the produce hasn’t been thoroughly washed, so it’s still got that just-picked taste (aka dirt). Be still, my beating heart.