Thank you to California Grown for connecting me with California growers and encouraging California consumers to “Choose California Grown” when they can.
A post about California Grown? YES, PLEASE!
If you know me, or you read my blog even occasionally, I am a huge proponent of buying locally, whenever possible – especially food. When you live in the Valley of Heart’s Delight, why would you source your produce anywhere else, but California? (Caveat – bananas and pineapples – both of which my kids are very fond of – well, you know – not California). But for everything else…
And how lucky am I that one of the good farmers who represents California Grown, sent me asparagus? Asparagus is such a great, versatile vegetable. When it’s fresh and crisp, it’s a perfect side dish that both kids and adults enjoy (see my favorite recipe for asparagus and red onions at the bottom of this post); if you wait too long to cook it and it’s no longer crisp – no problem! Cream of asparagus soup, here I come!
Asparagus is a vegetable I covet because I’ve never grown it in my own garden. Asparagus is a commitment. Not like a tomato that you can throw into the ground and reap the immense bounty months later. No, asparagus requires years of work, but once you’ve succeeded in getting the stalks to pop up in their moderately phallic way, you’ll reap harvests for years to come. Which would be so wonderful – if I had land to commit to only one vegetable.
Alas! SUPER CALIFORNIA FARMER is here to save the day!!! Swooping in with his organic produce, lovingly grown in some of the best soil on Earth! When you Choose California Grown, you choose to not only support California farmers, you:
- Support California’s economy;
- Support the environment (especially when you buy organic) – less fossil fuels needed for transport, and preservation of more farmland;
- Experience food grown for taste, diversity, and healthfulness versus durability, transportation and uniformity;
- Benefit from a more nutritional product. Locally grown food, picked and delivered to your family table, is at its nutritional peak.
But the biggest reason I love buying California Grown is to have the opportunity to feel as though I know the farmer who grows the food for my family. It’s a little bit of small town, even in the middle of Silicon Valley. When I have a connection with the farmer who grows my food, I feel better about feeding that food to my family.
The asparagus I received was grown by Durst Organic Growers. A little bit about them from their website, “Durst Organic Growers strongly believes in farming techniques that build soil fertility while balancing wildlife and insect ecology. We do this by planting cover crops, proper crop rotation and soil amendments.”
On the California Grown website, you can even learn about some of the families who grow food for your family! This California Farmer profile features Barbara Cecchini of Cecchini & Cecchini. Along with Durst Organic Growers, this is one of the many family operated farms growing asparagus within California and this video offers an insider’s look. Click on the video, it’s totally worth a view!
So you’re totally sold on California Grown, right? Well, good! All you have to do is look for the little license plate logo whenever you buy your produce. If you don’t see a CA Grown label on products, you can always ask your grocer to find out which products are grown in California. I do this all the time! And they are able to answer!
Now…what to do with that asparagus? Oh yes, my favorite easy asparagus side dish.
makes four servings
1 bunch fresh, California grown asparagus
2 TBSP chopped red onions (preferably torpedo onions – so tasty!)
2 TBSP good quality balsamic vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
- Gently steam the asparagus for a few minutes. You want them to be easily poked with a fork, while still maintaining a crunchy snap to them.
- Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients.
- Put your asparagus on a platter and pour the balsamic and onion mixture over it.
Thank you again to California Grown for sponsoring this blog post. Please click here to learn more about all of California Grown growers. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions are my own. #CleverCAGrown #spon