Frequently Asked Questions
Your decision to be part of a CSA, individually motivated by a variety of factors, is a big step in supporting your local food system. As you may already know, by joining a CSA you are entering into a partnership with a farmer. Our focus is to support farmers, thus encouraging local food production. This partnership involves shared risk and rewards that often requires members to shift their personal approach to food.
While the CSA is always excited to have new members, the most successful relationship is a long-term commitment. We recognize that many factors contribute to member turnover; our goal is to work with you to have a positive experience. In order to achieve this goal we would like to address some challenges and questions members may face.
Can I buy a subscription as a gift for someone else? – +
A CSA share makes a great gift! We currently have a waitlist- you will want to use your contact information to sign up for the waitlist so we can let you know when space is available. Then, when we set up the account we will need you to provide the members name and contact info so that they can get all of our email updates and make changes to their account as needed. We do not deliver or mail – the gift subscription will still need to be picked up at our location.
How do I Add or Remove share options (Subscription Change) – +
In addition to a standard produce share, Tucson CSA also offers bread, goat cheese, mushroom and sprout shares. (Link to producers?) If you would like to add any of these optional shares to your produce share you will need to first join the waitlist for that item. The waitlist is necessary for us to ensure that we do not go over capacity. We will typically transfer you to the active share list within a week or two of your request, as space permits. To join the waitlist for any of the optional shares, log in to your account and find the Summary window on the right hand side of the page. Under Summary, click on Subscription Change where you will find our current list of optional shares. If you would like to stop receiving one of your optional shares you will be able to manage that in the Subscription Change area as well.
How do I join? – +
The Tucson CSA currently has a waitlist for those interested in joining. Please take the time to read our Terms of Agreement and FAQ section to decide if the CSA is right for you. If you would like to become a member you can add your name to our Waiting List here. We will contact you when space is available-waiting times are currently 4-8 weeks.
How do I make a payment or renewal? – +
When you pay for your first share, you can choose to pay with a single payment by e-check or check, or set up automatic payments. If you opt for a one time payment, you will receive an automatic notification from us when your account balance is low. If you wish to continue your subscription you must log in to your account and renew by selecting a payment option before Friday at midnight. On Saturdays, any account below $24 is cancelled.
You can also choose to set up recurring automatic payments so that whenever your CSA account balance dips below $24 , your bank account will be automatically charged for the cost of another 6 or 12 pickups (whichever you choose initially). This option saves you from having to recharge your CSA account manually every 6 or 12 weeks and avoids the risk of having your subscription cancelled if your CSA account runs out of funds. You will receive a reminder from us when your account is about to renew. If you would ever like to opt out of the autopay system, simply contact us so we can remove your information from the account.
How do I place a delivery hold? – +
We are glad to be able to offer our members the option of working around their schedules when vacations or busy times keep them from being able to commit to picking up their share. However, to support our CSA farmers effectively we encourage you to put as few holds in your subscription as possible. On your account home page you will find the Delivery Hold tab along the top of the screen. Enter a date range for the desired Hold. You will not be scheduled for pickups during the range specified including the From and To dates. You can place up to three separate delivery holds at a time. Make sure to click the Save button! Reminder: if you would like to place a delivery hold for the coming week you will need to log in to your account and make the change by Friday at midnight.
Please note: if you are not enrolled in autopay you must ensure that you have a balance of over $24 in your account at all times in order to reserve your space in the CSA.
How do I sort, pre-freeze, and/or be creative with recipes? – +
When you get your produce home, spend some time sorting it. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, winter squash and citrus store well in a cool, dry place that is out of direct light. A counter top out of direct light should work just fine. Greens should be stored in the crisper of your refrigerator. I like to separate roots from their greens right away to preserve the freshness of both. I find it convenient to store all of my roots together, separate from the greens.
If I don’t sort things right away and just toss it in a drawer all together, it makes it harder when I try to decide what to make later – it all looks like a jumbled mass of various greens and I forget what treasures lie hidden beneath my sight. Sorting my vegetables into categories helps me visually. I can take a quick inventory of what I have and then work from there.
Along this same line, always sort out any old produce, especially greens, before you add your new weeks worth of vegetables. Root vegetables and cabbage can last quite a while in the fridge, but make sure you have a system to cycle out older vegetables first. If you need to, get in the habit of making a Sunday or Monday night soup to use up any leftover vegetables and clear up space in the vegetable drawers of your fridge. If you notice that you are just not getting around to eating all of your greens or your roots, take them apart at the CSA, leaving the part you don’t want in the surplus basket. Some members will be thrilled to get extra greens.
Home-made Frozen Food Tip
Sound like a bit of an oxymoron?! Well, having something on hand that was pre-made and then frozen can be a savior when you have no time or energy at the end of the day. Even though I love to cook, I am not always in the mood to prepare a meal. When I have extra time or abundant leftovers, I like to make individual sized “hot pockets” for future use. Call them what you will; empanadas, samosas, dumplings, calzones, they are good with an endless variation of fillings. Any stew-like dish makes an excellent filling for a variety of wrappers. You can use a homemade pastry, yeasted dough, fillo-dough, pre-made pizza dough, or wonton wrappers. Cut the dough into the desirable size squares, add a scoop of filling to one half, then pull the other half over and seal. Put them on a cookie sheet and freeze for a couple hours until they harden, then put them in plastic bags to store. Straight from the freezer and into the oven, they usually take about 20 minutes at 350ºF for the crust to brown nicely and the filling to heat through.
(Making your own “frozen dinners” instead of buying packaged ones will save you a ton of money, be much more healthy with less sodium and preservatives, and eliminate packaging from entering the waste stream).
Random Tips for Expanding Your Recipe Repertoire
The bulk bins at natural food stores enable you to experiment with different spices/grains/etc without being committed to buying a large quantity. You can also try out new tastes!
- Many people who join the CSA start cooking their meals from scratch. If you are not used to preparing a meal entirely from raw ingredients, you may find that you need to use salt and oil more liberally than you do when cooking with prepackaged ingredients. Keep in mind that salt and oil can be the essential “vehicles” that carry flavor to your taste buds in certain dishes.
- If you have the time and inclination; read/browse cookbooks to familiarize yourself with a wide range of cooking styles. Or if reading recipes is boring or too intangible for you, find cookbooks and cooking magazines with pictures to inspire you.
- Cook with a friend or group of friends. This is a great way to show off your specialties as well as get new ideas from watching your friends. Most of the recipes I have created have come from some lingering image I had in the back of my mind. They always start with “I saw a great recipe for this a while ago and I think it went sort of like this…”
- Try to duplicate your favorite restaurant dishes. It is good practice for analyzing taste and understanding how a dish goes together.
- “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Did I get that quote from Plato right? It certainly has been true for me. Times when I have been too short on time and/or money to do any sort of shopping, I have come up with some of my best recipes. Working with random or limited ingredients can spark simple and delicious ideas that you may not have thought of otherwise. For just one week, try not to do too much shopping and don’t supplement your CSA vegetables with any others. Out of desperation you might come up with something great!
- I am not trying to discourage anyone from following recipes. If you see an interesting recipe, then by all means try it! Just keep an open mind and curiosity about other ways in which it could be interpreted. If you make a mistake with a recipe, it might not be too bad. Be creative with ways to deal with a dish that doesn’t quite work out as you had expected.
Sara Jones has been with the Tucson CSA since 2005. Sara is the ultimate creative cook. She periodically teaches a seasonal cooking class at the Tucson CSA.
How many people does a share feed? – +
How many people a CSA produce share may feed varies because each household has different eating habits and different ways of using their CSA share.
The type and amount of produce in a share also varies weekly and seasonally. Typically, a share consists of about seven to eight different types of produce. If you’re considering joining our CSA, we strongly suggest that you drop by during pickup hours to check it out for yourself.
You can also check our online Harvests archive to get an idea of what produce shares include at different times of year.
To get a visual of produce shares, check out some of the photos on our Facebook page and Instagram where we regularly post photos of produce shares.
Is everything available all year long? – +
The simple answer is no. The produce shares vary with the seasons and it is helpful to look at our harvest lists for ideas of what we get at different times during the year. We aim for 7-8 items each week in your produce share, but there are occasions, especially in “shoulder seasons” when the farm may deliver an item that our staff and volunteers sort, clean and may determine that is not suitable (i.e dried up greens, too many aphids, slimy onion skins). We work hard behind the scenes, just as our farmers do, to get you the most fresh produce possible. So please be patient and feel free to ask questions when what you get doesn’t exactly match what the harvest list said. And know that we appreciate your community support of this cycle.
It is also important to note that we are working with local producers who care for their animals and plants – which may mean, for example, that the goats need their milk to feed their babies first and we don’t have as much goat cheese available to sell. The same variances in our store can happen with availability of eggs, milk, meats, and bread, even though we try hard to keep a steady stock of these items when possible. Again, we appreciate your patience and support of community agriculture!
Is the Wednesday pickup selection different from Tuesday? – +
The produce for each pickup day comes from different farms: the Tuesday produce is supplied by Crooked Sky Farms and the Wednesday produce is supplied by both Crooked Sky Farms and Sleeping Frog Farms. We try our hardest to make sure that harvests on both days are similar and that throughout the season members on each day receive roughly the same variety of produce.
Check our online Harvests archive to see the differences on a weekly basis.
What are the Terms of Agreement? – +
As a member of the Tucson CSA, and from the moment as I sign up online for a Tucson CSA share, I commit to share the risks and rewards of the farm’s harvests for the duration of my subscription. I also agree that:
- I must pay for six or twelve pickups in advance, and my payment is non-refundable and does not guarantee me an exact amount of produce at each pickup;
- I am responsible for picking up my share(s) between 4:00 and 7:00 pm on my scheduled pickup days. If not picked up, my share(s) will be donated to charity at the end of the pickup day;
- The cost of my share(s) will be charged to my CSA account after each of my scheduled pickup days;
- I must place any Delivery Holds and make any Subscription Changes before midnight Friday if they are the take effect the following week;
- I may not claim refunds or credits for missed scheduled pickups;
- If I select the Recurring E-Check form of payment (Autopay)* my subscription will be renewed and I will be automatically charged when my CSA account balance drops below $24
* You can email us at any time to have your Autopay option turned off.
What are the Trading Table and the Surplus Bench? – +
THE TRADING TABLE is where you can trade produce from your share. It starts off as a full share, with each produce portion in a separate straw basket, and it evolves throughout the pickup as people trade produce. How does it work? You give up a portion of one thing and you take a portion of another thing. For example, if you don’t want your potatoes, you place your full portion of potatoes in an empty basket and you take a full portion of, say, onions, from another basket. Or if you would like extra potatoes, you can take a portion of potatoes (providing there are some in one of the baskets) and give up your own full portion of say, onions.
Important: always trade full portions for full portions! Portion are whatever quantities of each produce there are for that week. For example, if this week’s share includes 4 potatoes and 3 onions, and you want extra potatoes in exchange of giving up you onions, you must give up all 3 of your onions and take all 4 potatoes from a basket (providing there is a basket with potatoes). In other words, you cannot take 1 of the 4 potatoes from a trading basket and replace it with 1 of your 3 onions. To make this easy, all portions are placed in separate baskets and there should always be one empty basket (unless somebody messed with the system): give your onion portion to the empty basket, and take a potato portion from a full basket.
Remember, the Trading Table is for trading only: don’t take without giving, and don’t give without taking. If you want to take without giving, or give without taking, use the Surplus Bench.
THE SURPLUS BENCH, located on a bench next to the Trading Table, includes extra produce we had or produce donate by members (from their share or from their garden). Whatever is on the surplus bench is up for grabs (within reason… don’t be too greedy). It is also where you can put any produce from your share that you don’t want. For example, if you don’t want your onions and there is nothing on the Trading Table that interests you for a trade, just leave them behind on the Surplus Bench for another member can to enjoy.
What do I do with all these greens?! (Winter Greens Guide) – +
Leafy greens grow well in our winter climate. We will also get beets, turnips and radishes with their greens attached. Use these! When you get your produce home, separate the roots from the greens to preserve their freshness. If this sea of green is leaving you feeling overwhelmed, don’t despair! Leafy greens are used in all types of cuisine and you should have no trouble incorporating them into almost any dish, once you get the hang of it. Dark, leafy greens are among the most nutritious vegetables available. They are loaded with all sorts of vitamins and minerals and are important sources of iron, calcium and protein in a vegetarian diet. Store greens in a plastic bag or wrapped in paper towels inside a plastic bag in the veggie drawer. Hardier greens like kale and collards will last much longer than more delicate varieties. To clean your greens, fill a large bowl with cool water and completely submerge the greens you want to use. Swishing them around will get rid of dirt hidden in curly parts or along stems. Different varieties of greens are interchangeable in most recipes but will of course yield different results. Just remember to cook tougher leaves longer. The stems of bok choi and chard can almost be considered a different vegetable and will add great celery like crunch to whatever you are cooking.
Don’t let the word bitter turn you off, rarely are these greens truly bitter when fresh and in season. This category includes hearty and thick leaved kale and collard greens. Dandelion and escarole are also in this category, but with tender leaves and a much more pronounced flavor. These greens are best in hearty, long cooking recipes like soups and stews, though, they are great quickly sautéed as well. Bitter greens are perfect for Italian and Greek recipes. They are good in tomato based dishes. Cheese, butter and cream will help to mellow their bitterness. Also, you may want to add a dash of vinegar or squeeze of lemon to whatever you cook with these green, as the acid really balances the flavor. Winter squash or sweet potatoes can provide a complementary sweetness.
Mustard greens, turnip greens and arugula are relatively spicy greens that can sometimes be extremely pungent. The young leaves are good raw but the flavor intensifies with age and you will usually want to cook larger leaves. If you have an especially mustardy bunch, blanching the leaves in boiling water, followed by a dunk in cold water, will remove some of the spiciness before you proceed with your recipe. Many recipes for mustard greens call for fatty cuts of pork to smooth out the flavor. Using cream or butter (or even mayonnaise!) will work equally well to mellow and meld the taste with the other ingredients in the dish. Strong spices such as ginger, chilies and curry are good with these greens. As with bitter greens, the sweetness of winter squash or sweet potato is a good complement to the flavor of spicy greens.
These greens, like bok choi, tatsoi, pac choi, mizuna and mibuna, range in flavor but tend to have a mildly bitter, spicy cabbage taste. Many of them have dense, watery stems that should not be removed, but enjoyed along with the leaves. Since they are generally milder than other types of greens, they are good in lighter dishes and broth based soups. Asian ingredients like miso, soy sauce, sesame oil and coconut milk are great flavors for these types of greens. Freshly grated ginger, garlic and red chile flakes are the perfect combination of spices with any of these greens.
These greens usually only taste, well, green. Spinach and chard have mild flavors and are extremely versatile. Most varieties of baby greens are mild, as well, developing their unique taste as they mature. Unless a recipe, like creamed spinach or saag, specifically calls for a long cooking time, only add these greens in the last few minutes of cooking.
The basic cooking method for any side of greens is to toss clean, still damp leaves into a hot, oiled skillet (along with garlic for the best flavor) and stir until wilted. Season with salt and pepper or soy sauce and serve! While a side of greens is good, they are easily incorporated into main dish meals. They are highlighted in recipes from almost every cuisine. The different varieties are somewhat interchangeable; each type of green has a distinct taste and texture that will be work best with certain flavors. Each idea below has suggestions of what greens might work best in that recipe, but feel free to experiment.
–Spanikopita is one of the best ways to use up lots of greens. It is the traditional Greek pie stuffed with sautéed greens. You can use store bought puff pastry or phyllo dough, or homemade or store bought pie crust. Make individual handheld pies or full size pies. Cook two, three, even four bunches of cleaned, chopped greens with chopped onion and nutmeg. Drain any excess moisture from greens before stuffing the pies. You can add any other number of fillings that interest you. Chopped hard-boiled egg, cooked ground beef, raisins, pine nuts or feta cheese are all good. Bake according to pastry directions. Best with kale, chard, arugula, braising greens.
–Make a Greek macaroni and cheese. Cook sliced onion, nutmeg, cinnamon and oregano. Add cleaned, chopped greens and sauté until tender. Toss with cooked penne pasta and goat cheese. OR, add ground beef or lentils cooked in tomato sauce to the greens mixture, layer in a casserole dish with penne pasta and cover with a quick béchamel sauce. Sprinkle with more nutmeg and Parmesan cheese and bake until golden. Best with bitter greens like dandelion or escarole.
–Stir greens into your favorite Italian pasta recipe. Greens are great in tomato based sauces as well as cream or cheese based dishes. For an easy meal, simply sauté greens with garlic and red pepper and toss with cooked pasta and Parmesan cheese (if desired). Adding capers or olives and a dash of balsamic vinegar will provide extra flavor to balance any bitterness. Use whole wheat pasta and consider adding nuts for an extra hearty meal. Best with dandelion, arugula or kale.
–White bean soup with Italian sausage is a classic dish that can use lots of greens. If you don’t eat meat, just use sausage herbs like fennel, thyme, red pepper and paprika. You can make a creamy, potato based stew or a brothy soup, the main ingredients here are the flavorful herbs and spices, white beans and cooking greens. Best with kale, collards or chard.
Make a traditional Caribbean stew using sweet potatoes or winter squash and black or red beans. Simmer cooked beans and large cubes of sweet potatoes or squash in one or two cups of broth. Season the stew with onion, thyme, allspice, cumin and coriander. Add chopped greens halfway through cooking (about 20 minutes). Serve over cooked grains or wrapped in flour tortilla. Best with mustard, kale or collards.
Make an Indian style stew using delicious curry spices. Quickly sauté freshly grated ginger, chopped onions, cumin, and garam masala in hot oil, stirring until fragrant. Add chopped potatoes and cooked garbanzo beans, and simmer together with about one cup of water. When potatoes are almost tender add chopped greens and cover. When greens and potatoes are cooked through, remove the dish from the heat and add yogurt and/or butter for creaminess. If you don’t want to use dairy, substitute one cup of coconut milk for the water when simmering the stew. Serve over rice. Best with mustard, collards or spinach.
–Miso soup is always better with handfuls of greens added. Other ingredients could include tofu, carrots, radishes, mushrooms, ginger, garlic and udon or soba noodles. Simmer the soup until all the ingredients are cooked to your liking. Turn off heat, and remove about one cup of broth from pot. Stir together with a few tablespoons of miso paste to dissolve. Return miso mixture to pot, stir together, and serve. Best with bok choi, tatsoi or spinach.
–Make creamy sesame greens. Begin by blanching whole leaves in boiling water for about 15 seconds. Remove the greens from the water and dunk in cold water to cool. Stack several leaves and roll them up like a cigar. Cut the roll into very fine ribbons. Make a mixture of about 2 tablespoons of tahini and 1 tablespoon of miso, adding water if needed to thin enough to coat greens. Toss everything together, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve at room temperature. Best with tatsoi, spinach, dandelion.
Stir fry greens in ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, chile and garlic (adding a bit of honey or sugar is nice, too). This is a great recipe for Asian greens with thick stems. Baby bok choi are particularly good, stir frying them whole or cut in half, makes a nice presentation. Serve over rice. Best with tatsoi or bok choi.
While many people will find mustard greens too strong to eat raw, most other cooking greens work quite well in raw recipes. Thick leaved varieties like kale and collards may need to be chopped very finely or tossed with salt and bruised slightly to make the taste and texture palatable. If you plan on making salads with cooking greens, use highly seasoned dressings (or other ingredients like parmesan cheese) that will stand up to their relatively assertive flavors. Here are a few raw recipe ideas.
Bruised Greens and Sunflower Seeds
Remove stems from a bunch of kale or collard greens. Wash thoroughly and, with water still on leaves, sprinkle with salt and squeeze and tear greens into small pieces. Make a dressing by blending onion, curry powder and lemon together. Pour over greens and sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Add cooked or sprouted grains or beans if you like. This salad is best after marinating for at least a few hours.
Use dragon mix, or the leaves of tatsoi or spinach for this recipe. Grate about 2 inches of fresh ginger. Mix together with a few cloves or minced garlic, a couple dashes of toasted sesame oil, a drizzle of soy sauce, a sprinkle of red chile flakes, and about 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar. Toss together with greens and serve immediately.
Thai Peanut Greens
Use pre-made Thai peanut sauce or make your own. Cook and drain thin rice noodles. Cut a few carrots and radishes into slivers. Clean and chop a bunch of greens (dragon mix, spinach or tatsoi). Toss ingredients together and garnish with chopped peanuts and green onions.
Balsamic Wilted Greens
Sauté a handful of chopped onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until beginning to brown. Add 1tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and whatever herbs you like and heat until beginning to bubble. Pour mixture over bowlful of clean, chopped greens (spinach, chard or dandelion are good) and toss quickly. Garnish with chopped pecans and apples.
What happens if I don’t pick up? – +
As specified in our Terms of Agreement you can only pick up your shares from 4:00 to 7:00 pm on your scheduled pickup days. We understand that sometimes members either forget to pick up or can’t make it to the pickup. Unfortunately we do not have the resources to set unclaimed shares aside for a later pickup or to give members credit or refunds for unclaimed shares. If you do not pick up your produce or sprouts shares, they will not be wasted. Unclaimed produce is donated to local food assistance organizations after closing time (7:00 PM). However, we freeze unclaimed bread and cheese shares for up to one month for you to pick up at your next visit.
If you know ahead of time that you will be away on a given week, place your subscription on delivery hold (must do so online at the latest by the Friday prior to the week you want the hold to take effect). If you have a last minute change in your schedule you can ask a friend or neighbor to pick up your share. All they have to do is give YOUR last name at the check-in table.
What if I am bored with (fill in the blank)? – +
The very idea that vegetables are only available during a particular season makes them all the more special. Once you have eaten produce at the height of its season, you will have a hard time eating out of season again. Because we share the risks as well as the rewards with the farmer, we may sometimes experience many weeks of a bountiful crop while missing something that was not as successful.
- The CSA website and newsletters, cookbooks, and the internet can all help with fresh ideas for produce.
- Pickup days are a great time to network with other members and with CSA volunteers about preparation ideas. Occasionally we will have recipe tastings and cooking demonstrations.
- Preserving (freezing, canning, drying, etc.) vegetables and fruit for a future time helps prevent boredom and offers the convenience of having home-made food ready to use at later times.
What if I find bugs on my produce?! (Insect Management Guide) – +
One of the interesting things about getting truly organic produce from our farmers is understanding Integrated Pest Management. By understanding natural cycles and the interaction of insects that we consider as pests, farmers can harness a powerful tool for keeping their crops organic while also keeping their crops!
By allowing some crops to go to seed, Farmer Frank encourages birds who love both seeds and bugs. Companion cropping pairs a plant prone to pests with one that discourages them, perhaps with a strong odor (marigolds) or an unpleasant taste—to the pest, that is. Traditional pairings like corn, beans and squash (the Three Sisters) are based on this wisdom.
We all know that supermarket produce is selected to ship easily and graded to be a certain marketable size. Most CSA members understand that vegetables can vary in size or shape and still taste delicious. They can also come with insects at certain times of the year. Here’s a quick guide to understanding and dealing with these free riders.
Does the insect damage matter?
Two years ago, Sleeping Frog Farms was mobbed by grasshoppers. The grasshopper is my personal demonic pest, owing to memories I have of driving through the middle of a storm of them on a car trip when I was five (they crunched under the tires!). They are one of the most destructive pests and are hard to predict. The melon crop that was in the ground at Sleeping Frog at the time was chewed up by the hordes of grasshoppers. The cantaloupes were on the small side and had marks on their skins. Yeah, not pretty—but you don’t eat the skin on a melon. These were some of the best melons I’ve ever tasted. Because of their appearance, they were at the farmers’ market late into the season and their small size made a perfect serving for one.
Can you wash away the hitchhiker?
Aphids seem to blossom about the same time my roses do. They provide a tasty snack for ladybug larvae, and there can be a time gap between the appearance of aphids and the maturity of the larvae. Soon nature will balance, but in the meantime, wash those aphids off!
Heading vegetables like cabbage or iceberg lettuce will most likely have aphids only in the outer leaves. Remove the outermost leaves and wash them separately. I sometimes use a sponge to provide a little more traction to get them moving. Vegetables like Red Russian kale are hard to wash this way. Go ahead and separate them from their stems and plan two trips in the salad spinner or two dunks in the kitchen sink. It can be helpful to lift them out of the spinner or sink, leaving the water and pests behind. As Sara suggests, a little white vinegar in the water can speed the process. If you are washing them off something firm, like an artichoke, or something with a skin, like a zucchini, you can use a tiny amount of a non toxic dish soap and rinse well.
And always, always live like a desert dweller and repurpose the washing water!
For some reason, worms have more specific tastes (perhaps they are more gourmet than we give them credit for). You won’t find a corn borer in a cabbage, or a tomato hornworm on the grapes. As a child, I asked my dad how to get rid of the tomato hornworms (which look like miniature dragons) on my plants, and he said “a heavy foot”. Should you find one of these larger pests in your vegetables, consider it a mark of distinction—it wouldn’t be there if the corn, cabbage or tomato wasn’t delicious or if your farmer used pesticides. Take the pacifist way and relocate it, toss it out where a bird can eat it, or dispatch it with a boot.
What if I miss having choice in my vegetables? – +
The choice that exists in the produce aisles of conventional grocery stores is the product of a centralized, global food system. As a CSA member, you participate in a local food system. This focus requires us to shift from a recipe-based cooking style to one based on available ingredients. We re-learn what it means to eat according to the seasons. We also learn what can be grown in our desert environment. While you may not necessarily get produce that you would normally buy at the store, you do end up eating a much more diverse selection of vegetables than you otherwise would. Here are a few suggestions that may help:
- Continue to cook your favorite dishes by just changing the vegetables according to the season. Your favorite pasta dish may highlight tomatoes, winter squash, leafy greens or broccoli, depending on the time of the year.
- Make a list of what you really miss and can’t live without. You can always supplement your share with these store-bought favorites.
- Use the CSA website, internet recipe sites or favorite cookbooks to learn new ways to use unfamiliar produce.
What is Farmigo? – +
Farmigo is the customer database that we use to manage your subscriptions.
Why does the produce look different than in the grocery store? – +
Much like an assembly line, conventional grocery stores demand that produce be uniform in size, shape, and color, skewing our expectations for how produce should look. Disadvantages of this conventional system include excessive waste and unnatural farm practices focused on appearance instead of flavor. Our farmers plant a wide variety of different heirloom seeds which can produce crops that vary significantly from what might be available at the typical grocery store. In addition to these unique varieties we also receive fruits and vegetables in a range of sizes and ripeness, from green tomatoes and tiny baby zucchini to 5 pound heads of lettuce!