Farm Happenings at Farmer Joe's Gardens
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[CSA Update] Welcome to week 13

Posted on June 26th, 2020 by Ida DeFrancesco

According to the USDA, food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply in the United States. The US has a goal for 2030 to reduce our nation's food waste by 50%. Around the farm, we are working every day to minimize food waste because we know how much goes into producing every crop. Even an ugly carrot needs a little love! The carrots turn and wind around if they hit a hard patch of soil or even a tiny rock. We won't let their sweet goodness go to waste! Some will make it to the food pantry, and some will make the farm animals squeal with delight.
The biggest change for our CSA is having technology catch up to allow our small farm to tailor every box - you get to tell us your preferences, we build from those preferences, and you can further tweak each week if you want to. This approach focuses on both the customer and the farmer. When excess food is unavoidable, we recover it and donate to hunger-relief groups like Masters Manna and the Meriden Soup Kitchen so they can feed people in need. Several members have purchased extra shares explicitly for pantry donation. Food that doesn't make the cut for a donation we upcycle into other products like animal feed, compost, and bioenergy.
It goes beyond growing practices - we encourage proper handling and storing as well as good cooking methods. Each week we include storage guidance for the plants and produce. The produce wash is a real money saver, give it a try with the recipe included at the top of the page. Taking an hour to wash, prep, and store your CSA helps you get the most out of your share. Rolling lettuce in a paper towel and putting that into a tupperware or a sealed bag makes a big difference. To bring life back to wilted lettuce, soak the leaves in an ice water bath for up to 30 minutes.
Give your competitive inner chef a chance to shine. If you learn how to make a great dish from a vegetable you don't normally eat - you won't just toss it. We include recipes in the newsletter. We include recipes and cooking tips in the weekly preview emails. We include membership to Each packed full of in-season cooking ideas to get your creativity flowing.