Our CSA Share

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Our CSA Share

This is the diary of our CSA share this year. The cost of a full share is $545 for 22 weeks (this CSA offers a winter share) which will bring us to the last week in October, and works out to $24.75 per week. Western New York weather is such that June is lightest CSA month. September and October will be more than abundant! Usually I feel I don’t get my money’s worth the first few weeks (which will be predominantly lettuces), but the fall bags more than make up for that.

This is the final week of our 2013 CSA Share, and honestly I am glad it is over. We kept up very well with our share this year – mostly because it wasn’t that plentiful due to the crazy weather we had in June. It rained 10″ in June where normal is under 4″ for the entire month! That stunted the growth of a lot of vegetables. However since September was glorious weather, the October shares have been abundant, and we’ve had a hard time keeping up. We probably should have given away more than we did this past month. We have stored a lot of the squash, Hubby spent some time last week freezing extra vegetables, and he made a number of soups which also helped us up the CSA shares.

The Brussels sprouts we received this week are a tad small. I am sure if this went a few more weeks like our old CSA does, we’d have seen the Brussels sprouts in two weeks and they would have been much larger.

The popping corn is cool! We have to leave it in a paper bag for two weeks so that all the moisture is out before popping in the microwave. I look forward to that!

This week we took:

• Brussels sprouts
• Buttercup Squash
• Cabbage
• Kale
• Leeks
• Parsnips
• Popcorn (this is cool!)
• Turnips
• Winter Radishes (daikon)

Available that we did not take:

• Broccoli
• Carrots
• Cauliflower
• Celery Root
• Chard
• Delicata Squash
• Kohlrabi
• Tomatillos
• Winter Radishes (black Spanish, watermelon)

Do you belong to a CSA? If so, what type? How much? Do you find it as worthwhile as I do?

Past CSA Shares
Find a CSA
Porter Farms CSA (we belonged for years)
Rootdown Farm CSA (our 2013 CSA)
NYS Fruit and Vegetable Harvest Calendar
US Agricultural Data

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  1. Stephanie B says

    Now that you’ve done a full season, which CSA do you prefer and why?

    • Stephanie they both have positives and negatives…

      The old CSA’s biggest positives were the amount given to us, that we all received the same produce (so we were basically forced (a good force) to try new produce), it was prebagged, had a newsletter that includes what was in the bag, as well as a recipe and farm news (I really liked that) and the seasonal price. We got double the amount of produce from our old CSA as our new CSA gave weekly (until the last 6 weeks when this one started giving a lot more), and the old CSA costs 45% less.

      The new CSA is a lot closer to our house. The old one we had to drive an hour (one way) once a season to do the pick-up and distribution (to a central location). The drop off location was a good 15 minutes from our house for the old CSA. The new CSA has a much better pick-up day for us too. Picking up on a Thursday allows Hubby to see what he wants to make on the weekend. The old CSA was a Saturday pick-up, and since it was being delivered to a satellite location, we couldn’t pick-up until 11am. That blew the entire morning for us every Saturday, and if Hubby didn’t cook Sunday … well, the produce most likely was given away or tossed.

      The new CSA had a little bit of everything for you to choose each week. That was also a negative though as it didn’t push me outside my comfort zone to try new produce. And, if I wanted a little bit of everything, I still couldn’t have it because we were limited in the amounts we could take.

      I thought we’d make much more use of the new CSA’s u-pick section, but it was basically flowers, beans, okra and herbs, so I didn’t go out much. It did make me seriously consider planting my own small herb garden.

      In all, I think that my old CSA was a far better value. It is certified organic. The amount given to us weekly was generous. I could never have purchased in the store the amount of produce given to us, for the amount of money we paid weekly.

      Saying all that, we decided to go with the new CSA another year. The fruit share should save us a load of weekend traveling for produce. We will still drive, but maybe once a month next summer instead of 3-4 times a month. The day of the week pick-up really is worth the upcharge to us. We had a ton of rain early this season which kept the shares small. Hopefully we will have less rain which will lead to a bigger CSA share next year.


      • Stephanie B says

        Thank you for the VERY thorough answer!! I’ve enjoyed reading about the CSA for the last few months! Looking forward to seeing what next year brings

        • Stephanie do you belong to a CSA?


          • Stephanie B says

            Not yet, but I would like to.

            • Stephanie if you are interested for 2014, look here for a CSA in your area. With many CSAs you will pay less signing up sooner rather than later. You can also do a google search for csas in your immediate area.


              • Stephanie B says

                Thank you! I live in WNY too so that’s why I had so many questions about these ones. Your old CSA is about 55 minutes from me and the new on is about 25 minutes away. The pick up on Saturdays isn’t a big deal for me because my husband works until noon on Saturdays from May-October so our Saturdays always have a late start. We are trying to decide which one is the best fit for us since the cost is a lot of money for us to spend, but well worth it in my opinion.

                • My old CSA has a lot of satellite delivery sites that would make it a whole lot closer than 55 minutes from you – at least that is my guess. I will say that the old one used to give us so much, and we froze so much, that we seldom bought vegetables other than the occasional bag of frozen corn or peas.


  2. After having watched your CSA shares for the last couple years, I think that I personally would be going back to the previous one. I do get the whole Saturday morning pickup pain though..
    I’ve had 3 different pickup sites & times.. 2 Saturday am pickups & 1 Thursday evening pickups.. When I was still working, the Thursday pm was better for me cuz I could swing by after work on my way home.. that was really convenient.. The location & time I pick up now is on Saturday from 10am-1pm.. so for most anything, I can make it work for me.. Occasionally, I have to get someone to pick my share up for me when I had to leave town early of a morning or out of town but its not been a problem this year.

    • Kim I have said it before, and I’ll say it again – I think my old CSA was the BEST CSA value in the country. I have yet to read of a CSA (especially a certified organic CSA) that costs less and gives more. Saying that, the Saturday-thing for us doesn’t work on many, many levels.

      If this CSA doesn’t pick-up next year, in 2015 we will try a new one. There are a lot in my area (that is a bonus to living on the edge of farm country), and there must be another one with a non-weekend pick-up date.


  3. Skirnir Hamilton says

    I am still deciding if I want to remain with our CSA this coming year or not. They aren’t always the most helpful. As usually a few are picking up at the same time, they barely have time to tell me what something is when I pickup and those bok choy, swiss chard, kale and one other look a bit alike to me. I have managed to find uses for bok choy, swiss chard, but Kale proved a challenge for us. But I think the first Kale was either a different kind or older, as we liked the second batch of Kale, but not the first batch. Eggplant proved a challenge too, but we do like it in my hubby’s Red Lentil Stew. We did enjoy the cauliflower though, which I had also not cooked with before. Seems I could get so much more and choose what I wanted from the Farmer’s Market, but it wouldn’t challenge us a bit. I also hate picking up at 4:30 PM on Monday. For me that is when I am putting dinner on, but my dear hubby didn’t want to stay at work for 1/2 later than his normal work time to pickup at work. That would have been so much more convenient. This CSA does have some fruit. The strawberries, blueberries and raspberries were all quite good. The apples on the other hand were all bug eaten. The first gala melon exploded overnight all over the kitchen floor. That was not the best. IE sometimes their produce is quite good, sometimes a bit overripe. They sure do seem to have the most of any of the Farmer’s Market vendors though. Makes me wonder why they don’t give their share people more and sell less at the Farmer’s Market. They said they had some things that we never received in our share. But we are a half share and picked up every other week. So I just don’t know. The fact that we did waste some bothered me too, but I think that is the nature of fresh produce, especially when sometimes they gave it to us overripe, etc.

    • Skirnir we don’t juice (well, Hubby has a juicer he doesn’t use very often) so when it came to Kale I was stumped too. Then Hubby made these Kale chips and I was hooked!

      If your place also sells at the farmer’s market and you can get it for less…. do you do to the farmer’s market regularly? For us the CSA forces us to have more fresh vegetables than we would normally have/try. Fruit? No problemo! Veges? Er. not-so-much.

      It also bothered me that our CSA people were not that informative. Because of the satellites with the old CSA, the sheets were necessary to explain what was in the box, and give recipes on new products. There was always a CSA owner at ourcurrent pick-up, but they never made a real effort to talk, recipes were not posted on the website, and we were never “forced” to try something new. And like you, Skirnir, I too like new, different products in our CSA share. I would pick up a new item once a week, but if Hubby didn’t have an interest, well, it seldom got made. That celery root I picked up a few weeks ago went no where except the trash. Sure I could have looked up a recipe, but the main problem picking it up was how much did I need to make a recipe!? One? Two? 16? Oh well, maybe I should do research prior to pick-up?

      Maybe you can find another CSA in your area Skirnir?


    • Skinnir… You might consider signing up for my CSA Newsletter… you don’t have to be a member to do that.. and ours sends out a weekly Newsletter with lots of recipes & ideas on what to do with your veggies. You’re in the midwest aren’t you? What is maturing here is probably maturing about the same time where you are.. There is also a vegetable IDing doc on the website that helps with some of the identification.. but not all. I saw something in the pictures that I think was wrongly labeled but I’ll talk to one of the gals about it.
      geaugafamilyfarms.org is the website to sign up for the newsletter.. Here is the veggie ID guide.
      Also.. as to that eggplant.. I will tell you.. my entire 52 years of my life I have HATED eggplant.. Pleckkk.. I will not eat it unless its disguised in Baba ghanoug… sigh… however… Dear Didi has got a recipe for Roasted Garlic Eggplant Manicotti that is out of this world.. It is worth giving it a try… You’re missing out if you havent tried this.. This is what I make with every eggplant I get now.. it is heavenly! It freezes well too so you can make a couple containers at one time. dishinwithdidi.com

  4. Skirnir Hamilton says

    I did somewhat do Didi’s recipe, but with a marinara sauce rather than a white/cheese sauce as my stomach can not take higher fat cheesier dishes anymore. I liked it, my husband wasn’t as sure. I also did not have celery leaves, whatever that is. Never tried baba ghanoug even though I have seen a recipe somewhere. I may still make Didi’s recipe again sometime, as I did like it. Signed up for your CSA’s email and looking at the veggie id guide, as sometimes I need one! But we now live in TN, moved from WI.

    • Skirnir Hamilton says

      I just remembered we have a butternut squash in the fridge from looking at the veggie id photos.. I had forgotten about it from our last CSA pickup.

    • Celery leaves are the leaves on the end of the celery you get at the grocery store.. I wouldnt have liked Didi’s recipe if it was with a red sauce.. My stomach cant tolerate that! Funny how we’re all so different!

      Baba Ghanoug is a Middle Eastern dip made of roasted eggplant, garlic, tahini, & lemon juice.. There are different recipes out there that call for different things.. Its good. (Cant believe Im saying that! 😉 )

      No matter where you live, there are great ideas on what to do with your veggies.. There are 4 years old old newsletters on the GFF website.. you can go there to read any of them. Just go to the header that says Newsletters at the top of the page.. When you have something you’re looking for.. you can read thru them.
      Glad some of this helped you a little bit even!

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