News From the Farm | February 5, 2018

What did the CSA member have to eat for dinner?

No, this is not the first line of a joke — “What did the CSA member have to eat for dinner… I don’t know, what? Cabbage, Squash and Arugula of course…”  No, this is our annual report on how we fed our members last year, and it shows that members had a healthy dose of variety and nutrition!

Here are the top ten items that were in the 2017 Full Belly CSA Box:

Greens (Chard, Kale, Asian Greens, Collards, Arugula)

Fruit (Oranges, Grapes, Pomegranates, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Apricots, Figs and Strawberries)



Winter Squash (Butternut, Delicata, Kabocha, Red Kuri, Acorn, Honeynut, Spahghetti, Sweet Dumpling)

Salad Mix and Lettuce



Tomatoes and Cherry Tomatoes

Cabbage (green, Napa, red and Savoy)

There is a very strong seasonal overlay to this top ten winners list.  For example, Greens are Number One, with each of our CSA families eating 47 bunches last year — But there are 3 months when there are NO greens in the box, because they have been replaced in the Full Belly fields by lots of tomatoes and melons.  The greens fight off the flu bugs during the cold seasons, the melons and tomatoes keep you hydrated during the summer.  Eating from the Full Belly box certainly helps people follow the nutritionist’s advice to increase their intake of produce, eat a variety of foods and reduce processed foods in their diet.

When people are thinking about signing up for a weekly veggie box, they usually wonder how many people the box will feed, which of course “depends…”  How often do you eat out?  Are fruits and vegetables a part of your daily snacks and  meals? Do you get frustrated when you find a pointy-leaved specimen in your box that you have never seen before? What if you get an enormous head of Cauliflower — or even a Rutabaga — How will that make you feel?

People sometimes call and ask to sign up for just ONE box so that they can ‘try us out’ for a week. I haven’t gotten very good at this type of speed dating.  I sometimes give an elevator speech about how you have to see at least four of our boxes before you really get the feel of it…  The oranges and carrots are the sweet spot in January and February, replaced by stone fruit and grapes in the Summer and Fall.  You have to get used to eating from the fields rather than from the supermarket shelves. You have to get comfy in the kitchen trying out a vegetable that you aren’t used to eating… At this point it is usually better to trail off, sometimes reluctantly agreeing to the one-box trial, hoping that just one box will win over the heart of our new member.

Other vegetables, showing up in the box less frequently than the top 10 were basil, broccoli, cucumbers, sweet peppers and eggplants — members got 8 to 20 servings each of those items.  Some sort of Allium (leeks, onions or garlic) came in the box for half the year.  Many items were in the boxes for less than two months: artichokes, beans, corn, cucumbers, fennel, herbs, radishes, spinach and turnips. Here are some items that were even less frequent: asparagus, celery root, rutabagas, summer squash.

By the way, if you are wondering what the CSA acronym stands for, it is Community Supported Agriculture (not cabbage, squash and arugula).  The idea is that there is a mutually supportive relationship between our members and the farm, that goes beyond economics.  Building human health, protecting environmental values and building community in the process.  If you think it’s a good idea, tell a friend to look us up!

Blessings on your meals,

—Judith Redmond