In August, my friend in BG posted on Facebook about a great CSA that she was part of. We had been a part of a CSA several years ago and had loved the fresh produce, the way that you could feel the progress of the summer as different crops came into season, the delight and sometimes challenge of discovering new foods and flavors.
Garlic scapes? Celery root? Bok choy! We were disappointed when that other farm discontinued their CSA program so, when my friend posted about how much she loved the fresh produce from her Riehm Produce Farm CSA (her family was gobbling up the greens), we were eager to sign up.
It was fall, so we signed up for a winter share with apples and coffee. I’d never done a winter farm share before. Bringing home that bag of fresh, homegrown produce every few weeks made the fall and winter seem a little less bleak.
I loved the feeling of abundance when I looked in my pantry and saw handsome apples, squash, sweet potatoes and potatoes lining the shelves – super-fresh, super-local, and super-flavorful.
We have been amazed at the freshness and sweetness of the greens from Riehm Produce Farm and can hardly wait for those to reappear on our table (along with the funky and fun carrots). Thanks to Diane’s newsletter tips, I’ve gotten smarter about storing different vegetables properly. I’ve learned that squash freezes well and gives nice flavor and texture to winter soup.
I found an awesome recipe for apple butter. Our Thanksgiving share added color and freshness to our feast. The robot team devoured the kaleidoscope salad.
The serious coffee drinkers in my family (and they are serious!) enjoyed the variety from our coffee share.
Thank you, Riehm Produce Farm for adding fun and adventure to our winter meals. We look forward to seeing you in June!
-Amy (Toledo, Ohio)
It seemed that prior to last year, it would pick up my CSA bag, head home and then try to put the produce away in the proper manner. The newsletters always gave instructions, but sometimes I could not remember. Other times I was too busy to properly ready my veggies for storage and I would just stick them in the fridge and forget about them until it was too late. Last year when you started prepping the veggies for immediate storage, those problems were solved. I so appreciate having the veggies properly prepped, so when I get them home I could immediately put them away. That saved me so much time, hassle, and that led to better quality of my produce through the week and beyond.
-Faye (Maumee, Ohio)
I really appreciated your tip on sweet potatoes as I’ve kept them in a basket near my apples and I still have two left to use and they look great!
-Linda (Maumee, Ohio)
How joining a CSA brought our family closer together…
We started out simply wanting to keep more veggies in the house through the winter, but ended up cooking together more as a family. My daughter (whose mind races a mile-a-minute) fell in love with cooking. To this day, she asks if she can help with just about every meal. Our CSA ended up being such a special opportunity for our family to slow down and enjoy one another’s company.
It led us to watching cooking shows together. It helped the kids understand the difference between real and fake food, and it taught them to recognize quality. So much of our lives are reduced to being mere consumers, and for folks who can’t figure out a way to be produce their own food: being a CSA member provides you with an opportunity to create something on your plate.
-Scott (Toledo, Ohio)
We shared the strawberries from last week with someone who is mostly oblivious & indifferent to differences between high Brix and ‘regular’ commercial produce. Her response was most enthusiastic. I think we might have awakened her. Thanks for wonderful, nourishing and enlivening food.
-Karen (Whitehouse, Ohio)