Thursday, July 7, 2011

In Praise of MiLo Acres

First of all, take a look at this meal my husband and I cooked! Then I'll regale you with all the mouth-watering details.
The meat is grilled salmon topped with a sauce of dill, mustard, leeks, white wine and butter. In the center top are homefries-style potatoes and onions with garlic in the same dill-mustard sauce. There is also a wedge of lemon and several slices of cucumber -- which are pretty obvious, but you'll understand why I mention them later.

Finally, there is a salad of braised Swiss chard topped with pickled beets, onions and garlic. (To pickle them, I julienned onion, beets and garlic and left them to soak in balsamic, red, and rice vinegars with salt, pepper and honey.) No, I did not see this as a recipe anywhere, it just seemed right to my taste-buds' imagination... and I do believe they proved themselves right. I will be making this again! And see how pretty it looks sitting there on my plate.

The real kicker is that all the ingredients listed in bold above came in our CSA box from MiLo Acres. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture -- and the premise is that consumers pay local farmers up-front so they have the funds to get their gardens started and in return they provide, in our case, a weekly box of garden produce. The food is fresher, there is less gas used for transportation, and our stuff is organic, too.

Instead of wishing our current system were different, I'm putting my money where my mouth is. If you don't like big agri-business, support an alternative. It's good, old-fashioned trust: I trust that they will do the best they're able to within the confines of weather and pests, and they have not let our family down. The owners of MiLo Acres take classes, work long hours, and balance the box with a wide variety of vegetables and fruits -- some of which I would never have chosen on my own. I would have never bought beets at the farmer's market, but I'm glad I've learned how to cook with them. As an added bonus, our family is a lot healthier for getting the box. First, because the vegetables are healthier for us, and secondly, because I use so many more vegetables than I would normally -- either experimenting, or avoiding waste.

Granted, I know and love the owners of MiLo Acres dearly, but they do such a fantastic job I can't help but to rave every now and then. Particularly after a good meal, like tonight's--in which the majority of the substance and flavors came from their farm.

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