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Savoring the Crunch of Snap Peas: A Springtime Sensation

June 26, 2024

Table of Contents

Savoring the Crunch of Snap Peas: A Springtime Sensation

Embracing the Dirt and Digging into Farm Life

As I step out onto the dewy field, the sun’s first golden rays just peeking over the horizon, I take a deep breath and savor the earthy aromas that fill the air. This is where I belong – my office, as Andrea Bemis, the farmer and co-owner of Tumbleweed Farm in Oregon, so aptly puts it. With days consumed working the land, cooking up farm-to-table dishes, and sharing my passion through my blog, Dishing Up the Dirt, I’m living the dream of a self-described “farmer, eater, and lover.”

Andrea’s words resonate deeply with me as I embark on my own journey within the vibrant community-supported agriculture (CSA) world. Like her, I embrace the dirt, the long hours, and the constant ebb and flow of farm life, for it is in the simple pleasures of tending to the land and nourishing my community that I find true fulfillment.

A Week in the Life of a CSA Farmer

As the alarm blares at 5 a.m. on a Monday morning, I know it’s time to kickstart another action-packed week on the farm. The early start is a necessity, as Andrea explains, “We deliver our CSA community-supported agriculture shares on Mondays and Tuesdays to our members. It’s a full day of picking, washing, sorting, bagging, and then assembling boxes to go out to all 80 families that are shareholders in our farm.”

Before diving headfirst into the day’s tasks, I do as Andrea does and reach for a steaming mug of my signature honey cardamom latte. The rich, fragrant brew is the perfect fuel to get my mind and body primed for the day ahead. As I sip, I go over the game plan with my fellow farmers, discussing the priorities and tackling any last-minute preparations.

Breakfast is a simple yet nourishing affair – a fried egg adorned with crispy bacon and minced scallions for an extra burst of flavor and crunch. “Breakfasts at the farm are typically simple and packed full of protein to keep us full and energized,” Andrea shares, and I couldn’t agree more. With our bellies satisfied, we head out to the fields, ready to tackle the day’s harvest.

Harvesting, Delivering, and Savoring the Bounty

The next several hours are a flurry of activity as we meticulously pick, wash, sort, and bag the fresh produce destined for our CSA members. “We get to sleep in a little later on Tuesdays – 6 a.m. instead of 5 a.m. – since we harvest all of our CSA veggies on Monday,” Andrea notes. This slight respite allows us to refuel with a farm-fresh lunch, which often consists of a bok choy Caesar salad or a platter of deviled eggs – a personal favorite.

With our afternoon deliveries looming, we make quick work of the remaining tasks, ensuring each CSA box is packed with the season’s best offerings. As we hit the road, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride and anticipation, knowing that our members are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their weekly bounty.

During the drive, we indulge in one of our favorite springtime snacks – grilled sugar snap peas with a spicy peanut sauce. “If you’ve never grilled snap peas before, stop what you’re doing right now, fire up the BBQ, and make this recipe,” Andrea insists. “It’s simple and is always a crowd-pleaser.” The tender-crisp peas, infused with the smoky char and the addictive sauce, is the perfect pick-me-up to fuel us through the rest of our deliveries.

Nourishing the Body and the Soul

By the time we return to the farm, our muscles are weary, but our spirits are high. We gather the crew for a well-deserved happy hour, sipping on cold drinks as we unwind and reflect on the day’s accomplishments. “It’s a chaotic day with a lot to get done, and we usually don’t come up for air until dinner time,” Andrea shares. “However, one thing that keeps us going even when we’ve still got work to get done is a 6 p.m. happy hour in the fields as we finish up chores.”

For dinner, we might enjoy a simple yet satisfying meal, such as roasted radishes with anchovies or a comforting zucchini soup with toasted sourdough bread. The key, as Andrea emphasizes, is to let the fresh, seasonal ingredients shine without too much fuss.

As the week progresses, the rhythm of the farm continues, with long days of harvesting, transplanting, and weeding. But through it all, we find solace in the simple pleasures – a midday snack of spring veggie toasts with herbed cashew ricotta, a Friday night pizza night featuring the best of the farmers market’s bounty, and a leisurely Sunday brunch of cheesy grits and wilted greens.

Savoring the Crunch of Snap Peas

One of the true highlights of springtime on the farm is the arrival of snap peas – those crisp, sweet pods that burst with flavor with every satisfying crunch. Whether we’re snacking on them straight from the vine or incorporating them into a vibrant dish, snap peas have a way of capturing the essence of the season.

As the team at Williams-Sonoma showcases, snap peas are the perfect canvas for endless culinary creations. From a simple yet elegant salad to a flavor-packed stir-fry, these versatile veggies can elevate any meal. And let’s not forget the joys of grilling them, as Andrea so enthusiastically advocates – the smoky char, the tender-crisp texture, and the irresistible spicy peanut sauce come together in a harmonious symphony of springtime bliss.

Cultivating Community, One Pea at a Time

At the heart of the CSA experience lies the profound connection between the farmer and the community. As I peruse the vibrant recipes and stories that celebrate the season’s bounty, I’m reminded that the true essence of a CSA goes far beyond the produce itself. It’s about fostering relationships, celebrating the rhythms of nature, and nourishing both body and soul.

Each week, as our members eagerly await the arrival of their CSA boxes, I imagine the joy and anticipation they feel. I envision them unpacking the fresh, flavorful snap peas, contemplating the endless possibilities for their preparation. And in that moment, I know that our hard work, our dedication, and our love for the land have all come together to create something truly special.

So, as you embark on your own CSA journey, I encourage you to embrace the dirt, to savor the crunch of snap peas, and to revel in the transformative power of farm-to-table eating. For it is in these simple pleasures that we find connection, nourishment, and a deep appreciation for the abundance that nature provides. And who knows, you might just find yourself becoming a “farmer, eater, and lover” like me, one pea at a time.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Thornapple CSA, where the crunch of snap peas is just the beginning of a delicious and fulfilling journey.

About Us

Thornapple CSA: A community-driven initiative championing sustainable agriculture. We connect members with fresh, organic produce, celebrating the bond between land and community.

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