The simplest way to make the most of your group site is this: rely on each other. CSA people tend to be idealists who set the bar pretty high: we’re going to use every leaf of spinach and every broccoli floret to the greatest possible advantage, with no waste ever. New creative dishes every week, delicious ones! Yes we will love every vegetable we get, even the ones we’ve never seen before, and we’ll make our children love them too!
Those ambitions can be hard to carry by yourself for an entire season. That’s why it’s called Community Supported Agriculture.
Here are a few ways group site members can help each other out.
- Tell your group-mates how you plan to use your box — in advance, at the beginning of the week. Don’t worry about seeming over-bearing: all of us want more ideas, both general and specific. I want to know what cooking method you prefer for green beans, but I also want to know if you salt them, and whether you break off the ends, and why. Facebook is an easy way to share that kind of information. Make a page for your group and post to it every week, two or three times.
- Set up a swap box. The truth is that I don’t like eggplant much, and I’d feel better about leaving it for someone who does than trying to figure out how to eat it. One of the challenges in long-term CSA membership is how to keep from knocking ourselves for throwing stuff away. The swap box helps a lot.
- Organize a you-pick rotation. If you belong to a group site, you probably don’t live close enough to the farm to drop by whenever you feel like it, and that means you sometimes leave your you-pick bonus in the field because you just can’t get here. Help your group-mates out with that. With six members, for example, each of you would come to the farm and pick for the whole group once every six weeks. That way you get the bonus even when you can’t get to the farm.
If you’re looking to organize a new group, or expand an existing group, let us know via CSA@GreatCountryFarms.com and we’ll send you brochures and produce lists you can offer to your neighbors. We’d even be happy to design a customized handbill — the old-fashioned kind you can post in public places.