It's that time - don't forget to grab your box this week at your chosen pickup location. How are you guys doing with your CSA boxes so far this season? We'd like to check in this week, and either remind you (if you're previous members) or let you know (if you're a new member) of a few things that are common to CSAs.
First of all: How do I eat all of this!!??! Lol, this is a common frustration especially for new CSA members. If you're not used to eating as much produce as you're getting in your share, then it takes time to adjust your habits. Don't beat yourself up if you're not able to change on a dime. I actually heard a statistic that it takes about 2 seasons before the average CSA member really becomes a CSA 'rockstar' using all of their boxes with ease and enjoyment. There are definitely some tips and tricks that we'll share with you throughout the season, but the fact is that it's OK if the amount of produce in your box isn't exactly what you're tailored to already using.
** Tip - wilting greens is a great way to use a lot at once. You can easily wilt a whole bag of spinach (or kale or arugula) into a pasta dish or eggs for breakfast and feed 2-4 people a meal supercharged with greens.
Next: What do I do with what I don't use??! OK, here's an absolutely true statement from your farmers... We would much rather have some of our produce thrown away/composted/fed to the rabbit than to have any of you feeling veggie guilt! Another common theme for new CSA members is to hoard all of their weekly produce in the fridge (and the next week, and the next week) in hopes that they will have a break through and make 15 veggie-centric meals this week for their whole family. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Local produce does last much longer, but eventually, it too will go bad and there's no need to feel guilt over not eating your microgreens while also watching them go bad over two weeks! Really, as your farmers, we give you permission to wipe the slate clean when your new box comes. We want participating in our CSA to be a fun and enjoyable experience for you, so if you feel some veggie-guilt creeping in, then just toss that bunch of past-it's-prime produce and move on with fresh intentions for the next one!
** Tip - If you really want to utilize all of your share, then remember that it doesn't all have to be consumed fresh. Consider making frozen spinach cubes to add to smoothies or soups later on.
Finally: What do I actually DO with the produce?? For the most part, the majority of produce will do fine in a sealed container in the fridge. There are definitely exceptions, but as a general rule, containers need to be sealed because the air in your fridge is very dry and sucks the moisture right out of any exposed produce. As the season continues, we'll start to have more exceptions to that rule as some crops (tomatoes, basil) really aren't best kept in the fridge, and some will do best in a vented container (cabbage). There are lots of produce storage charts online to check out.
** Tip - the best thing to do with root vegetables is to separate the greens from the roots right away. Who's experienced 'floppy carrot syndrome'? Essentially, the carrots are dehydrated by the greens sucking all of the moisture right out of them. So radishes, beets, carrots, salad turnips...they will all last longer and be much crisper and crunchier if you remove the greens for storage. If you'd like to, you can store the greens separately to use for pesto, salad dressing, saute, etc.
See you at pick up! Cheers,
Bonnie & Rudy