Being part of a CSA was a very new idea to me when I started at Taproot Farms in 2011 and to be honest, I really had no idea what to do with all of the food that we received.
Now, two and half years later my family and I have found a system that works well for us. I thought I would share a few of the things that have made being part of the CSA very enjoyable, other than getting lots of yummy veggies each week.
The big thing with us (my fiance, Nathan and I) is planning. This was not a concept I really associated with food and meal prep. Now our weekly routine involves looking online on Sunday to see what is going to be in the shares. You would think working on the farm we may get the upper hand and more time to prepare for what is coming in the following weeks share but honestly, I really enjoy being part of the CSA and look online just like every other member to see what is coming in the shares. At this time I also search through the add ons and see what is available just in case something jumps out at me that I would like to order.
After I know what is coming in the shares, I take a look in the fridge, pantry and freezer to evaluate what we already have in the house that will work with the veggies to create meals for the following week. Once I have done this I start to formulate a meal plan.
A few things I take into consideration when making our weekly meal plan is:
When we will get out share (farm team members usually pick up their shares on Thursday at the farm)
If there are any events taking place this week which will involve having guests to our house for a meal or us going somewhere else for a meal (one less meal to plan)
How long some veggies are going to last. If they do not keep a long time such as sprouts I should plan to use them up within the week they are received but something like onions will keep until the following week for use as well as be used within the present week
Once I have seven suppers planned (Monday to Sunday) I plan a couple larger lunches such as a stew or chili that I can take with me to work for a couple days. I actually do not plan each meal for certain nights as I am sure would work better for some families. With us sometimes we are not in the mood to have a certain meal so we leave that part a little less planned. We know that certain meals need to happen before Thursday and certain meals can happen after share pick up.
Another thing that has really helped us get the most out of our share, as I know some days you just do not feel like chopping up all of those veggies or peeling that turnip, we do as much prep work as we can Thursday night when the share comes into our kitchen. Doing it all in one evening can seem like a lot but I already know it needs to get done and I usually do a lot of it while I cook supper. By now we already have our meals planned so I know how I need the veggies prepared.
Here are a few examples of how I stored my veggies from last week. Some veggies, such as onions and potatoes, are just put in a bowl on my counter because I know that I will use them within a week or two . I also keep an eye on these things to make sure they do not start to spoil. If they do, I make sure we make a meal that will use them up.
If you have any helpful tips that has made being part of the CSA a more enjoyable experience please let us know.
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