First CSA from Blue Pike Farm

I just got my first bag of goodies from Carl and Blue Pike Farm today. I’ll be getting  a share every week as part of my CSA. In case you don’t know  CSA stands for community supported agriculture.  You pay a flat fee to a local farm and throughout the season you get a share of the harvest. Carl provides a shopping bag that each member is asked to bring each week to be refilled. What I plan to do is provide recipes for each week’s bounty. So during the season each week I’ll have new recipes for the wonderful produce I will be receiving.

Today’s bag included a cucumber, strawberries, lambs’ quarters, purslane, garlic scapes, sugar snap peas and some amaranth (red root pigweed). If you aren’t familiar with some of the items I’ve listed this should help.


This common weed is a great spinach substitute. It is easier to grow, re-seeds, well, like a weed and is actually better for you. The leaves of this plant are shaped like Christmas trees, or the webbed foot of a goose. Thus, the family of plants is known as the goosefoots. Full of calcium, phosphorous and protein, they contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits and more vitamin A than carrots. Use the greens as you would spinach, but cook plenty, they wilt down. I always freeze extra to enjoy all winter long. The seeds are also edible and can be used in baked goods. In some farm markets they are called “Belgian” Spinach.

 Red Root / Pigweed

Don’t you love common names? Red root is actually green amaranth. Related to the same amaranth used to make flour (seeds). The leaves, like lambsquarters and dandelion are among the most nutritious foods you can eat. Pigweed grows anywhere the ground has been cultivated, and will return from one year to the next so you will always be able to find it in the same spot. The large leaves are somewhat almond shaped, but more pointed on the ends. The plants can get 6 feet tall in good ground but can be picked anytime. Cook as you would spinach.


Purslane is commonly sold in markets in Europe, but in the States we still delegate it as pest rather than resource. What a shame. The leaves these creeping, fleshy-leaved plants add a crunchy tartness to salads and can be steamed as a vegetable.

Purslane Salsa

2-3 cups purslane leaves and small stems, broken or cut into bite-sized pieces

½ c. chopped sweet onion

½ c. chopped sweet pepper

½ c. cider vinegar

½ c. oil

¼ c. chopped cilantro

Salt and hot pepper sauce to taste


Wash purslane and place in a medium bowl. Add vegetables and stir. Combine vinegar, oil and seasonings in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake well. Pour over purslane mixture and mix well. Cover and chill. Serve with tortilla chips.

Creamed Lambsquarters

4-6 c. fresh lambsquarters,  washed and stemmed

1 T. butter or margarine

1 c. milk

2-3 T. flour

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 t. dill weed

Cook greens in a small amount of water and drain when heated through or wilted.  Return to pot and add butter or margarine. Place milk and flour in jar with tight fitting lid and shake until well mixed. Add to lambsquarters and cook, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly. Season to taste and serve. Serves 2-3.

Note: You can also use pigweed in this recipe as well as spinach or a combination.


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