HOW TO BE A successful CSA MEMBER
10 tips on getting the most out of your 25 weeks as a Vegetable CSA Member at Sang Lee Farms
1. MAKE A COMMITMENT, TO YOUR HEALTH. In your committed CSA relationship with us, just as in any committed relationship, you take the good with the bad - the amazing flavor with the imperfect visual appearance. In the end, you will understand that in order to truly support organic farming practices as well as locally grown seasonal produce, you will have to mentally shift your aesthetic from supermarket or conventionally grown quality of produce.
2. LEARN ABOUT ORGANIC FARMING. We use beneficial insects to help eat the pesky ones that make holes in your leaves or cling on for dear life to their food source. Sometimes they aren't as effective as the poison that conventional growers spray food with, so please be forgiving of these holes and 'cling ons' - they are less harmful to you and your family than sprays and GMOs. NONE of our produce is Genetically Modified for shipping durability, perfect looks, or perfect shape & size. We are not producing the magazine models of veggies, but if you can look past that, you will discover the inner beauty and authenticity that comes from veggies grown organically and locally. Most of our veggies, in fact, are heirloom varieties - making them superior in flavor but more perishable in a shorter amount of time.
3. READ THE MEMBER AGREEMENT. Make sure you are making an informed decision to commit to the CSA Program - for our sake and for yours! We don't want anyone to be unhappy, and we want to be transparent about what the CSA is up front so that you will feel you are getting what you expected (AND MORE!)
4. EDUCATE YOURSELF. Read all the information that we provide before signing up. Once you are a member, read the weekly newsletter to stay up to date with information regarding the farm, the CSA, and to learn recipes and tips on how to best use that week's share.
5. FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. Make sure you can pickup the share at the site you chose, and the allotted pickup time & day. If you know you cannot make it, you can always call us or the drop site coordinator to try to arrange later pickup at the discretion of the farm/dropsite.
6. EAT SEASONALLY. celebrate the new idea of CSA eating - You eat asparagus in June, Tomatoes in August, and Broccoli in September. Don't get excited for a weekly portion of Asparagus all season long or you will be sad! Instead, embrace the changing colors and flavors that find their way to your plate.
7. OPEN YOUR MIND AND CREATE. Be willing to try new things! If you think you don't like an item, give it a real try or two before you rule it out. Chances are, you are thinking about how it tasted when it was much poorer quality and freshness. Try to think more about what you have in the share for the week, and how to use that in some of your favorite 'styles' of cooking instead of super specific recipes that require you to purchase more out of season ingredients. You may even find you stop following recipes entirely - and look to the newsletter or pinterest for inspiration.
8. KEEP IT COOL. Use an insulated bag to store your share in at work, in your office, in your car - wherever your share may live before it makes it to your fridge at the end of the day. Also, it would be helpful to bring an ice pack of some kind to add to the bag with your veggies (don't put directly against fragile greens to prevent freezer burn)
9. LET IT BREATHE. If you receive a BAGGED SHARE every week, make sure to open the bag as soon as possible - and at the very latest when it reaches the fridge in your home. It cannot stay in the bag in your fridge because it is packed only as a way to transport the veggies, not for optimal storage. Make sure to properly store each type of vegetable according to the storage tips in the weekly newsletter (find online or in email)
10. CONNECT. Get to know your drop site coordinator, fellow CSA members, your farmer. Attend our complimentary or free Open House and Tour Day May 21, or one of our weekly Saturday Tours. Visit us on the farm sometime this season (if you don't live nearby). If you do, come volunteer with us in the spring or attend our CSA potluck. Take advantage of the direct connection you now have with your food, and the people who grow it!