Thursday, August 18, 2016

Why I Join a CSA Farm for the Summer

For the past 10 years, I have participated in a CSA ( Community Supported Agriculture) which is an organic community farm. You pay a share upfront in the beginning of the season and then you are entitled to whatever grows all spring, summer, fall. The farmers designate the amounts each week based on the bounty.

This is the room to pick up your produce
I purchase a half share which means I pick up every other week. 
 It's too much work for me to drive to the farm each week, pick produce and flowers in the fields, and then take everything home and  prep the food the same day. Every other week works better for me because it is a job!

Today was my CSA farm pick up day . The way it works is that certain types of the produce are already picked and just ready to be bagged; However, some of the produce you must go out in the fields and pick yourself.

The day that I pick up requires a lot of work to pick up, clean, and to prep all the vegetables. Once you get the vegetables home, you need to be prepared and know what you are planning to make with them or things could spoil.

Despite the intense heat that we have been having, we had a good haul of veggies.

This is what the farmers picked and I just bagged: 
  • 2 pounds of red potatoes, 
  • 5 pounds of juicy beefsteak tomatoes, 
  • 2 pounds of onions
  • 3 bulbs of fresh organic garlic, 
  • 1 large bunch scallions 
  • 2 pounds okra
  • 2 bunches of lettuces 
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds carrots 
  • 1 pound and 1/4 of eggplant
  • 1 pound and 1/4 of red peppers 
  • 2 large spaghetti squash 
  •  Red onion 
This is what I had to go out into the hot fields and pick my own: 

It was hot - 90 degrees at 5:30 pm , and I was dripping- but I didn't let it stop me. 
My husband helped, but he gave up in the middle saying it was just too hot for him, so he went back to the air conditioned car.
I finished the picking by myself.
It's fun out in the fields- you make friends with other share holders and talk about recipes as your pick! So, in addition to what the farmers picked and I just bagged, I also picked plenty out in the fields! all organic!!

What did I pick in this heat? 

1.  1 pint of heirloom cherry tomatoes
2.  1 quart of tomatillos
3.  2 quarts of green beans
4.  1 quart and 1 pint of  edamame-  we were allowed 3 quarts but I was dripping by then.
5   1 bunch each of cilantro, dill, and basil 
6.  1 pint of husk cherries- we will just eat these - yum so sweet 
7.   I didn't pick my bouquet of sunflowers- I would have- but my husband was absolutely ready to go! 

You gotta have a new respect and gratitude for farmers, migrant workers, and the produce- 
it's hard work- especially an organic farm.. Thank you for this healthy food!

What will I make with my produce this week?

Homemade Potato Chips
My husband really likes sliced and roasted red potatoes- they come out like potato chips
I'll use a pound and half for chips and 1/2 pound of the potatoes I'll reserve to make soup.
I made the slices using my mandolin and then I tossed in olive oil and roasted them in the oven until crispy

The okra must be tiny for this recipe and this week they were the delicate tiny okra which is perfect for bamia This is small okra cooked in tomato sauce-

Roasted Vegetables
I roasted the eggplant, onions, red pepper, garlic, and orange cherry tomatoes at 375 degrees. I toss the cut up veggies in olive oil and Himalayan salt and then lay on a parchment covered cookie sheet.  comes out fabulous. Serve over rice, quinoa, or as a side with any meal.

I'll use the lettuce and some of the tomato, scallion, tomatillo, red onion, cabbage cilantro, and dill for 2 salads and make my lemon parsley salad dressing using the parsley.

Edamame-boiled in salted water 
This was simple. I just washed and then boiled the edamame in the shell in salted water until the inner beans were soft. Then I sprinkled with more salt before eating.

Roasted Tomato and Tomatillo Soup- recipe to be posted

Spaghetti Squash Chou Mein  
This is a delicious mix of vegetables that tastes like chou mein! Interesting and Easy

Community Supported Agriculture farms are very popular and are available in most communities. We have about 8 of them in a 20 mile radius of my home. The one I go to takes me 20 minutes to get to.
You can do a Google search for CSA's in your area. Usually, you need to contact them now for next year.

Four Reasons I join a CSA
It's great to get organic produce
It's great to get local produce
It's great to get  fresh produce
It's fun for the family to get out into the fields and experience farm life

Do you belong to a CSA or grow your own vegetables? What is your experience with it???


  1. Replies
    1. Sarah,
      You are so right - I feel like everything is so healthy when I use all this real food from the farm.!

  2. Wow! You did very well, Judee--in the amount of veggies you got, holding up in the heat that long, and making all those fabulous meals. Bravo! I would have been sad missing out on the sunflowers though, so I might have picked my bunch of those first. ;-)


    1. that's a great idea to pick the flowers first, but I have to have jar filled with water so they don't die while I 'm out picking everything else.

  3. How long do you bake the potatoes and at what temperature? What kind of Mandoline do you use or recommend? How long and at what temperature do you roast the vegetables? Good for you for taking part in a CSA and being able to plan how to use it all. This is inspiring. Thank you, Judith

    1. 1. I bake the potato slices at a preheated 400 degrees until they turn reddish and crispy ( about 20 minutes- I like to turn them too)
      2. The Mandolin that I used was from the supermarket and cost 9.99 on sale. They are more expensive brands , but this works great!

  4. I have been thinking about joining a CSA! We're so glad you shared this healthy and helpful information regarding why you join a CSA Farm for the Summer on the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop. I'm Pinning and sharing!

    1. I'm glad this post was helpful. Joining a CSA is a wonderful way to get organic produce at a better price, but it is also a commitment to be ready to prep and cook the day you get your stuff!

  5. Wonderful way to support and benefit farmers, your family, and the planet! Love the recipes too. Saw this at the HHGN Blog Party. Will Pin. Nancy Andres @

    1. Thank you Nancy. We feel blessed to be able to eat fresh local, organically grown produce for the summer, spring and fall.


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