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Summer

CREAMY ZUCCHINI, BASIL AND CHICKPEA SOUP Serves 8

heat oven. If you still don’t like Brussels sprouts, it’s probably because you’ve never cooked them the right way (no offense, but you’ll thank me in the end). I would love to say I have a green thumb, but alas, I have not been blessed with the ability nor the desire to grow plants. It could be my crippling fear of things that slither and crawl that keeps me out of the dirt, or the fact that without much sunlight in my garden, my options are limited. This does not, however, keep me from finding value and beauty in the idea. Luckily, there are some great local resources to help, especially if you’re as unskilled in the garden as I am. First, we are blessed to be home to the West Chester Growers Market, located on the corner of Church Street and Chestnut Street, every Saturday from 9-1pm (and first and third Saturdays of each month between January and April, 10-12pm). It’s Chester County’s original producers-only market, begun in the summer of 1995, and hands-down my favorite place to be on a Saturday. Walking down the rows of vendors on a muggy August morning is an

all-out assault on the senses. I come home holding my bags like a pack mule and announce to my family that I now know what blueberries are supposed to taste like (insert melon, tomatoes, sweet corn or Honeycrisp apples for blueberry and you’ll get the picture). I get most of my produce there, not to mention our bread, eggs, and sometimes meat. I need to add that I keep cost in mind when I food shop, and the price is right at the WCGM. The organic eggs cost less than you’ll find at any grocery store, and the (seasonal) produce is comparable in cost to their non-organic grocery counterparts. It was here that I learned that, for the yolks in Axel Lindenhof’s eggs to be the most gorgeous orange color you’ve ever seen, he feeds them alfalfa and lets them get all the sunshine they want. Also, why do Keith Fahnestock’s Granny Smith apples have such a sweetness to them? He picks them when they take on a blush, whereas other growers pick them when they’re green throughout. Peg Dearolf from Blueberry Hill Farm told me that the reason her mint is fuzzy and lush, whereas the one I grew was a bit lackluster, was that hers

INGREDIENTS • 1/4 c. olive oil • 1 large (or two small/medium) onions, diced • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press • 1 tsp. kosher salt • 3/4 tsp. black pepper • 2 lb. zucchini (about 3 medium), ends trimmed and chopped • 4 c. low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth • 1/2 c. packed basil leaves • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed INSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium high heat. Add garlic, onions, 1 tsp. of salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Saute, stirring occasionally, about five minutes. 2. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, about five minutes. 3. Add broth and turn heat to high. When liquid reaches a boil reduce heat to medium low and simmer about 10 minutes until zucchini is tender. 4. Add basil leaves and beans and puree using a stick blender or by transferring to a food processor or blender. 5. Return to pot (if transferred) and add salt to taste. is spearmint, mine is peppermint. We get our tree each year from Kevin’s Christmas Trees and Wreaths. The freshly sawed tree ushers in the holiday in the most fragrant of ways. Community Supported Agriculture, or CSAs are another great option. Unlike typical shopping, CSAs require you to pay a lump sum upfront, then pick up the freshly harvested produce each week throughout the growing season. It’s crowdfunding for local crops. When it comes to picking a local CSA, you might be struck with choice overload: Thornbury Farm Market and CSA, North Star (which you can pick up at the WCGM), Crawford Organics, Highland Orchard, Sancanac, Kimberton and Misty Hollow are all potential options. The best part of a CSA is that when the season peaks, you have so much gorgeous

MARCH 2019 THEWCPRESS.COM

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Profile for The WC Press

The WC Press Green Thumb Issue - March 2019  

Voice of the Borough

The WC Press Green Thumb Issue - March 2019  

Voice of the Borough