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Preparing for CSA 2020

Posted 10/23/2019 2:14pm by Colleen Quiram.

Fall is typically blustery and cool, but this October has stepped up its game. Most days have been cloudy, wet, windy, and very prohibitive to getting in the fields out here in Wright County. We've noticed many farmers working to get crops out anyways, getting machinery stuck in the mud and then coating the roads as the mud falls off their tires. Let's just say I've spent a lot of time at the car wash lately!

Now that the 2019 CSA season has closed, I am working on preparing for 2020. Going through survey responses in detail, checking in with drop off-site coordinators, and talking to people about our new share sizes. We've been hearing for a few years that our Half Shares are just too generous; most families are unable to work through their box by the end of the week and end up filling their compost. Obviously, this is not ideal! We want you to enjoy our CSA program, and improve not only your vegetable knowledge but also improve your and your family's health by cooking your meals in quick and healthy ways. I think this is the goal of all of us when we join CSA programs. This was my first season working through the half share, and I found that a half share was not nearly enough for my small family, however, I am probably in the minority. We meal prep all our lunches and eat at home every night, rarely eating at restaurants, except when we have a movie night and my son insists on pizza for dinner. I understand most families don't do this.

What are we doing to improve for next season? You have asked, and we are listening! We are debuting a new share size in 2020, the Mini. While we hope this is a popular option for smaller families, we want to be very clear on a few topics. We know you love the variety of our Half (now named Family) shares, but our Mini shares just won't have that same variety. Why? Well, think of it this way, if we were to give you the same variety, just a smaller quantity, how would you use it? For example, this past season we only had enough peas to give everyone 1 pint. Which was just a taste of our peas. I am not sure what we would do with ½ of 1 pint of peas, that surely isn't enough for a recipe! Or even enough for 1 person. And while we often have smaller heads of cauliflower or broccoli, as you may have noticed this last season, it isn't quite enough to use. For our farm to make the Mini share work, and give smaller families a smaller option, we will not be able to include many of our products.

Are you thinking ‘But wait, I love all of your produce and I don't want to miss out!'? Well, we still have the Family share option for those of you who love our variety, but maybe need a little more info on what to do with everything in your box! I am listening to those survey comments, and want to help you use the Family share. To start, I hope to help you better plan weekly meals by sending out the ‘Sneak Peek' earlier in the weekend. This is a bit tricky however, as what we plan to harvest on Saturday for the shares does not always work out. So, I ask that you have a bit of understanding with our Sneak Peek email, and know that what we hope to put in your share may not be what we are able to include. I also will be including more storage and freezing tips with your weekly emails in 2020. I hope that rather than composting what you were unable to use, you will instead take a little time on Tuesday to freeze what you aren't sure you will get to that week. And with an earlier Sneak Peek email, you will already know by Tuesday night what you plan to use and what you plan to freeze!
It's all coming together nicely, don't you think?

Anyways, I want you all to consider the Mini share as an option, but rest assured in my second year as CSA Manager, I hope to provide you with even more information on how to best use our produce and not let any go to waste!

Do you have more questions about the Mini and Family shares? Send me an email! Colleen@UntiedtsWeGrowForYou.com