Every farm has a different take on what a CSA box should look like. Some focus on constancy (you know you’re going to get a bunch of chard every week), others focus on seasonality (when summer squash is in season, you know you’re going to get a ton of summer squash is every box), and others focus on quantity (you know that every box is going to be stuffed to the gills with enough vegetables to feed your family and the neighbors and everyone at work). This difference among CSA shares is a good thing — it means that members can shop around and find the CSA program that fits them best.
Here is what you can expect if you become a member of Mike & Clare’s Farm CSA: (Click here for box examples)
Fresh: Vegetables for the CSA are (almost always) harvested the day before delivery. We follow best practices for post-harvest handling and storage — vegetables are kept at proper temperatures and arrive to our members fresh and with a long storage life. We never, ever give unsold farmers market vegetables to our CSA members.
High quality: Vegetables are harvested at their peak ripeness. We do everything we can to ensure that lettuce isn’t bitter, that radishes aren’t woody, and that tomatoes don’t immediately turn to mush on your counter. We do our best to put clean vegetables in the box, although admittedly, we have a little bit of work to do on this front. Your carrots might need a little extra scrubbing and your greens might need an extra rinsing. You may also occasionally find some bug damage on your vegetables. We will not put vegetables in your box with bug damage that will cause rot — but a hole in your arugula or kale just means that you shared a little with a flea beetle.
Flavorful varieties: Fresh vegetables almost always taste better than old vegetables — and some varieties of vegetables just taste better than others. We pay attention to which varieties taste best and try to grow them for your box. We grow Italian parsley instead of curly even though it has less bulk, we grow sweet-tasting costata romanesqueo summer squash even though it’s completely unruly, and we grow big heirloom tomatoes even though they’re more prone to disease.
Diverse: We plan our season around giving our members a diverse offering of vegetables. You’ll see carrots, beets, onions, and tomatoes in your box, along with fennel, napa cabbage, and sorrel. The box will look pretty different from week to week, although some items, like summer squash and tomatoes will repeat week after week based on seasonality (but we do our best not to overwhelm our members!). We try to have at least one green and one type of onion (garlic, shallots, scallions, etc.) in the box each week (Take note! If you don’t like greens and/or onions, you might not like our CSA!)
Seasonality: Like almost all CSAs, our boxes are filled with in-season vegetables. Spring boxes will have vegetables like lettuce, spinach and radishes; summer boxes will have tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant; and fall boxes will have winter squash, turnips, and potatoes. While this means no tomatoes in spring, it also means fresh, flavorful vegetables at their peak ripeness.
Moderately sized: Our goal is to give our members enough vegetables to provide nutritious meals for themselves and their small families. The moderate size of the box means that we can keep the share moderately priced. The regular summer box has 6 –8 vegetables (sometimes including herbs). It typically fits in a grocery bag and can feed a small family of 2—4 that cooks around 4– 5 times a week.
Maybe most importantly? We love farming! And we think they very best part is growing food for our CSA members. Mike & Clare’s Farm brings you vegetables that were grown with curiosity and enthusiasm -- and we hope it shows!