Welcome to Spring!
After a long, hard winter, it’s truly a relief to feel warmth seeping into earth’s bones and emerging as life irrepressible once again. With spring’s resurrection of a lush growing season ahead for most of the country, I’m happy to announce renewed vigor in our blog this year with fantastic new writers, recipes, and reflections.
One of them is Deborah DeBord. We first became acquainted when she expressed interest last year in the PDF version of Bounty from the Box for Stonebridge Farm in Longmont, Colorado, for which she writes their CSA newsletter. I soon learned that she is quite an accomplished gardener, tireless volunteer, and dedicated home cook—a blind one who has written a remarkable 328-page cookbook for people who are visually impaired (Cooking with Feeling…and Other Useful Senses). Trust me—this is one impressive volume.
Not only that, but I soon found her writing utterly captivating in our email correspondence. When she wrote, “I actually have a handheld color finder to tell me if my clothes match or to find that tee shirt I wanted to wear hiking. It works on the color of tomatoes if ever I should need just the yellow ones,” I was hooked. I’m so pleased to introduce Deborah, who’ll be sharing her seasonal insights in the coming year. I hope you enjoy her wit and wisdom as much as I do.
And stay tuned for her first recipe—one that celebrates two of the most eagerly anticipated spring vegetables—coming this Thursday!
— Mi Ae
My name is Deborah, and I add my voice to the joyful chorus at Bounty from the Box.
My 17 harvest seasons at Stonebridge Farm in Boulder County, Colorado, have provided a yummy bushel of experiences. My suggestions for making the most of your own CSA come from one woman with one story. Our context here will surely have different aspects from your own veggie life.
Our home sits at 6,700 feet, and we are visited by boodles of wildlife, including rabbits, foxes, coyotes, deer, bear, and the occasional cougar. They are all hungry and wily, so our initial efforts at gardening in the 1990s were frustrating. We slid down the mountain, where mile-high crops thrive in abundance.
Farm members visit the CSA barn every Saturday to select their booty. Our “share” is described on a chalkboard, listing such things as 3 sprigs dill, 6 ounces spicy greens, 7 each carrots, 1 pound spinach.
Some area CSAs have boxed their shares in advance, with some even delivering, but we quite enjoy handling the produce. The weekly offering is not precisely predictable, but the rhythm of the seasons offers an idea of what the earth might heave up.
And the real basil laurel? That would be community. Pancake breakfast in the Sunflower Room, concerts in the meadow, sneaking into the vineyards for a peek, apple pressing in the autumn, and pumpkin carving on harvest closing day.
Bonking heads with other CSA members, exchanging ideas about what to do with the veg, hearing about lives quite different from our own, and watching children grow prove as nourishing as the produce.
We will be traipsing in and out of the barn here at Bounty from the Box to offer some ideas for making the most of your own harvest with the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor. Taking good ingredients and treating them well is our guiding thought as we mess around…and yes, sometimes messing up.
To table! To table!
All the best from a woman high in the Rockies. In a forest. On a river.
Deborah DeBord, Ph.D.