Theme: letter


I have been a contented Fully Belly Farm CSA subscriber for many years.  I also have a blog which often features produce from the Full Belly CSA veggie box, and I like to link to Full Belly through my recipes.  My blog is called, and I’ll include a link to my latest entry, “Carrot Salad with Lavender and Thyme.”  It uses the fabulously beautiful carrots from my box last week.    

Just wanted to let you see how I’m using the bounty of my veggie boxes.  Thank you!

Yours, Penny  –  Cornell Ave, Albany site


This morning’s melon was absolutely the best. I just finished up with a little cottage cheese and toast, and I am writing to you to keep myself from eating the other half of the melon. It is flavors and quality like this that keep me coming back to Full Belly — both my CSA subscription and your farmers market booth on Tuesdays. Can’t wait for my tomatoes for lunch.

Thank you again for all the wonderful veggie boxes for the rabbits over the cooler months. We are fortunate right now in that we have very few rabbits in our care, either eight or nine rather than the 30+ we had over the winter. So this is the best time for us not to be getting a box. We have a little garden in one of our yards at the shelter, and we are growing enough chard, kale and herbs to supplement what the city provides. Plus, there is a lot of wild fennel growing near the shelter now, so we can harvest that. But we would be delighted to get boxes when the weather gets cool again, if you can provide us that. 

Enjoy your summer and thank you so much for being out there!


Pat Luchak

P.S. The “box” that Pat is talking about is a box of greens that Full Belly provides for the rabbits during the cooler weather.  The rabbits are under the care of Oakland Animal Services, which invites people to become involved in their program — adopting, volunteering or donating.

Letters from Members

Thank you so much for your continued support to Charlotte Maxwell.  I was the one who asked this of Full Belly – many moons ago when I was one of the founding staff members. So appreciate you guys!!!

Judy  –  62nd St, Oakland site

Letters to the Editor

I just wanted to drop a line and say that we love the produce you send us–all of it.  I feel bad when I read that you have people frustrated and wanting substitutions. Last year, my favorite part of the CSA was getting all the new stuff I’d never seen before (red kuri squash? I’d never heard of it before, but it was so delicious that now I look for it everywhere I go). My second favorite part was getting a lot of some things–I’ll never get tired of getting loads of tomatoes, greens, potatoes… you name it! Keep it coming!


Please stop the cabbage! It has been relentless, and I am winding up giving it away because I can’t keep up with it. Apparently the same is true for other members, because every week there are several heads in the share boxes at the end of the day. I love cabbage and make some very good soup with it, but the amount we’ve been getting is just too much.


I just wanted to respond to say that I love the “lack of choice” because it forces me to discover new ways of cooking vegetables (especially cabbage! which I now love) and is a true representation of seasonal offerings. Talking to others at my pick-up location, I know this sentiment is shared by many. Thanks for doing what you do, and for the always thoughtful newsletter.

Thoughts From One of Our Members About the CSA – March 6, 2017

I’m sorry that people stop getting the box because they have to get stuff they don’t like, or know how to use, or they wish they could substitute other things.  Those are among the reasons I like getting the box.  Life is actually just like that.  If we play our cards right, we can get a lot of good stuff, some stuff we do not like, or don’t need and it’s kind of random in that way. We do not get to pick and choose everything in life.  That is, in fact, what makes life interesting, and what makes it life.  I don’t want my organic box to be an exercise in customization.  The farm is a farm, not a computer program, and I like it that way.  Also, I feel burdened sometimes by so many choices.  I appreciate that all I have to do with the box is go pick it up at the same time every week, and my mind can take a vacation from choosing.

Letter to the Editor

I’ve been meaning to email you and let you know that I’ll be taking a hiatus from veggie boxes for right now. I’ve lived in a condo for the many, many years I’ve been a Fully Belly Farm CSA member and it’s been a lifesaver. I was able to get a garden plot in a local community garden this past year (well, actually, I now have two!) and I’m producing enough veggies at this point that I can’t get through all the FBF veg, even when I went down to every other week.

I’m heartbroken to leave since you’ve a staple in my life for a decade, and I love supporting a farm that I’ve visited, met the farmers and believe in the practices. This feels like more of a dear John letter then just a transaction!

I do hope that I’ll have room in my life (and fridge) at some point to start up again, but I’ve been so lucky with heavy harvests from my garden.

I wish you all the best and will dearly miss the recipes & the produce. The artichokes, the cranberry beans! Those amazing strawberries and the best carrots I’ve ever had. The list goes on. I now love rutabaga, celery root, I can eat kale by the bunch in every form imaginable, I love quince and turnips and fennel fronds – I can’t imagine how much I’ve learned from having the CSA box. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Thank you all so much!

Jaime & Ben

Note: Anyone who is interested can continue to get the Full Belly Beet, CSA member or not.  Just send us your email and we will continue to send it to you — or your friends.

Letter to the Editor

Concerning those green plastic boxes – here’s a solution that works for me: This technique has worked for me since before the green plastic boxes.  There’s no need to take Full Belly’s boxes anywhere.

Find a cardboard box about the same size as the Full Belly box. Shouldn’t be too hard, with all the deliveries people get these days. Reinforce it with duct tape if necessary.  Keep it in your car, with the grocery bags. Take it with you to your pickup site.  Do Not Remove the green box from the site. Transfer everything in the green box to your own box.  Put your box in your car, unload it at home, immediately. Return your box to your car for next week. Repeat.

Here’s hoping this idea makes a difference.

Helen  –  Lake Ave, Piedmont site

News From the Farm | October 10, 2016

This week we are sharing some correspondence that we received:

Dear Sir or Madam,

Recently, my 8th grade history teacher had my class and me give up one of our favorite foods for five days.  The purpose of the experiment was to show us what it might have been like for Europeans to go without some luxuries when they searched for new lands. [Read more…]

Feedback From Our Members

June 6, 2016

Q: Would you please consider not distributing cling peaches? They are suitable for canning, but are nearly impossible for eating out-of-hand, which is the use that your subscribers will make of them (who is going to can 7-8 small peaches?)

A: Full Belly grows (or has grown) nearly 25 different varieties of peach, most of which are freestone. Generally a clingstone peach has fruit that does not fall off the pit and a freestone peach has fruit that does fall off the pit.  Freestone peaches usually ripen a little bit later in the season than clingstone. Both types can be delicious. Some people don’t like to eat clingstones, because they can be a little messy.  Grandma Lois (Farmer Dru’s mom) used to call them ‘bend-over’ peaches!

Letter to the Editor

The day after I saw the pix of the ladybugs on the weekly missive I found a ladybug on the parsley we’d just gotten in Rockridge. I was sad because I didn’t see it until the bunch had been in the fridge overnight. I gently nudged the little guy into my hand and then outside onto a plant in the sun. Once on the leaf in the sun he warmed up and then scooted away. I hope it was just like a chilly night to him during his time in the fridge…  BTW, LOVING the strawberries. They are truly like candy!


Ellen  –  Ostrander Rd, Oakland site

Letters to the Editor

Several weeks ago, we (Jan & I) were discussing what to gift to our friends who were getting married.  We thought of the many traditional things we have gifted weddings in the past, and wanted to gift something truly unique and lasting.

We decided to gift our friends a 3 month Full Belly CSA.  Out thought process went to how this can become a lifetime gift.  Hopefully our friends will continue to include CSA in their lives, raise their children on fresh, organic CSA food, while supporting the sustainable, organic food movement. 

We discovered CSA over 25 years ago, raised our children on fresh, sustainable and organic food, a gift they still cherish, as they now shop @ farmers markets and continue the tradition. I highly recommend to all CSA members and Beet readers to consider gifting for Weddings CSA membership.

Thank you Full Belly Farm for being an important part of our day-to-day lives, forever and a day.

–Thom and Jan Donnelly

Letters from Members

April 25, 2016

Dear Full Belly Farm,

I’m curious.  I’ve never seen these before. (See photo below.) What are they?  They were on my cilantro leaves.

Thanks, Jennifer



Dear Jennifer,

Oops!  So sorry, those are each a pupae of a precious little lady bug.  If we had found those on our cilantro, we would probably put them outside somewhere to hatch into beautiful lady bugs.  But I am sorry that you found it on your leaf — I hope that it didn’t bother you.

CSA Coordinator


Dear CSA,

Oh it didn’t bother me at all but fearing it was some sort of scale I washed it down the sink. Now I feel bad. Hey maybe the newsletter could from time to time share this sort of info? Just a thought


Dear Beet,

Shucking the beans you included in the box recently was very relaxing, as well as instructive about the meaning of the saying “as alike as two peas (beans) in a pod.”  

I am saving some of them to plant next year, and I’m wondering if you can tell me if they are bush beans or pole beans, determinate or indeterminate. Also, are they good eating as green beans?

Most of my beans are this beautiful black and white, but there was one pod containing yellow beans with an orange smile. Thank you very much!

–Cindy Fressola 

orca beans

Hi Cindy,

Thank you for writing to us.  I like the simple lessons that you drew from the Orca beans.  

These beans are an heirloom from Mexico. They are so beautiful!  We are going to grow more of them next year. We had a couple of complaints about putting something as labor intensive as shelling beans into the boxes, so it was wonderful to hear a different perspective from you. The plants are a bush variety and they are determinate. They are not meant to be eaten as green beans, but as soon as the pods fill out and the beans are formed inside, you can eat them as a fresh shelling bean. 

–Full Belly Farm


New Stop Waste CSA Box

Full Belly CSA members who didn’t get a box last week may have missed our newsletter article about the new boxes.  It is still available on the Full Belly website (  We ask that you leave these boxes at your pick-up site and do not take them home with you!

Dear Beet,

This weeks article regarding the new Stop Waste CSA Box is long overdue. Having been a long time CSA person, I (we, my family) learned very early on to bring our own reusable canvas bags. In the beginning, we found we’d forgotten to bring back our wax boxes, and would find ourselves bringing back 2, 3 or 4 at a time, and while they were returned, they often sat out in the rain, and their reuse was diminished. [Read more…]

Dear Full Belly Family,

July 8, 2013

Thank you for yet another box of gorgeous produce this week! And given the heat, our family is especially grateful for the extra work that must have gone into getting that produce out of the field and to our home. Thank you for the care you take. The love you put into the produce fills our minds, bodies, hearts, and souls with joy and gratitude,.

Peace and blessings, Butch, Wendy, Mac, and Jamie Cliff

Notes on Potatoes

On the Recipes page of our web site, there is a recipe for Cream of Greens soup – you could use the potatoes and collards from your box to make this soup!

Here’s a note about potatoes that we got recently:

“Like the year of many turnips, I’ve been grateful for the plethora of potatoes this year. They were oft overlooked in my box, easy to brush aside while excitedly reaching for more colorful things like asparagus or butternut squash or beets. But as they started piling up a bit (I admit it), I needed to turn my attention to them, and I’m SO GLAD I DID! Any time anything got roasted, in went some spuds. But their constant inclusion inspired me to mix up my seasonings as they’re such a great canvas for flavors. Lots of potato salad experimenting gave me chances to really perfect my technique. But I think what really made me a convert is this: I started boiling them in batches and keeping the boiled, salted taters in the fridge and found a new favorite easy snack. I started by dipping them in leftover homemade goddess dressing (any excuse to eat that stuff. Seriously.), then branched out to other fun dippings and condiments. Then just started munching on them all by themselves. So delicious! Thanks, as always, FBF.”

— Christina Stork