FarmShare option comes to MegaFood
The basic concept? A consumer pays ahead for several weeks worth of veggies, fruits and/or other fresh food products (i.e., Farm-raised meats and dairy, or homemade bread), and gets a great deal in exchange for her commitment to pre-purchase. Because CSA members sign up for their share (a.k.a., their weekly allotment of vegetables) in advance, the farmer can better anticipate how much to grow, and often gives out more than one’s fair “share” in appreciation of the support. Members are often tipped off with a list of items to expect over the duration of the share, yet exactly what -or how much- is received is a gamble; the outcome always dependent on Mother Nature’s will!
This fall, MegaFood employees were given the opportunity to sign up for a 5-week long CSA share through Local Harvest. Because of the aforementioned “gamble,” MegaFood picked up a generous portion of the tab as a way to encourage any CSA-interested folks to take the plunge and see what it was all about. MegaFood’s Wellness Warriors also complimented CSA involvement with “Veggiecation,” an education course designed to help CSA newcomers learn about the veggies they received, including their benefits and some cool recipes to try.
Watch Ashley and Christina open up their first share:
To get a better sense of how the initiative went, we interviewed Kayla, an employee who opted in to the vegetable adventure, which she shared with her girlfriend. Here’s what she had to say about her experience.
Why did you decide to sign up for a CSA share?
I had actually heard about it through a family member and thought “Wow, what a cool idea." I started going to my local Farmer’s Market over the summer to start my journey towards buying more organic foods and loved it. When the CSA opportunity came up, I was all in for continuing to support local, organic, and my own health!
“Veggiecation” - Tell us what that’s all about!
I loved the Veggiecation group and short classes. It was nice to hear more about some of the vegetables we got each week and what they were all about. Loved finding about the mutant gene that some people are born with that can make you hate Brussel sprouts. The vegetable contains a chemical similar to PTC and can make them taste bitter to people with the mutated gene. I brought it up at a family dinner and found out this happens to be the case with my parents hating them. They can’t stand anything about them, smell, taste, etc. and I just can’t understand it. I love them. The meetings were short, fun, and a nice Friday education treat.
As a CSA first-timer, was the experience what you expected? What surprised you most?
I was a little worried I wouldn’t get many vegetables for the price but got more than I expected every week. I was also worried I would get things I didn’t like or didn’t know what to do with. It was actually fun bringing it home and looking up ways to cook everything and try it in different ways. (I also got things I knew I liked, too.)
What was the variety of vegetables like? Was there anything in your share that you hadn’t tried before?
It was a little repetitive but was to be expected for what Mother Earth is able to produce in fall. Loved the surprise of apples one week. There were many things I got I had never tried before and loved finding ways to try them. Never knew I would be such a big fan of Brussel sprouts or the taste of some of the other vegetables. What looked like a white version of a carrot turned out to be a radish and tasted nothing like a carrot, so surprising!
How easy (or hard) was it to use all your veggies before the next delivery? Did you discover any new recipes as a result?
Time is always against me, so there were many times I wanted to make lots of different things with what I got but just didn’t have the time. Some of the kale we got sadly did not get the chance it should have to be made into something delicious but due to the fall vegetables being easy to store for the most part, I quickly learned to freeze and store much of it to use when I found the time. One cooking of a giant winter squash set me up for a side for lunch and dinner for days.
Would you say you increased your consumption of fresh produce as a result of your farm share?
Yes. With the amount we got, and some of the vegetables being unfamiliar, it was almost a fun challenge to find out how to fit it all in with my meals for the week. I definitely ate more vegetables than I typically do and with more variety.
Do you think you’ll sign up for a CSA again?
I would. It was a fun pickup I looked forward to each week and liked the challenge it made to incorporate more vegetables into my life and more organic into my life. I am looking forward to seeing when the next sign up might be and what would be included in a new season.
*Big thanks to MegaFood’s R&D Project Manager, Caitlin Pratt, who spearheaded this program and played a major role in making it a success!*
Captions, L to R:
- When in doubt.... just roast! This is the carrots, celeriac, red potatoes, squash and brussel sprouts from this week's share. I roasted them with EVOO, rosemary and balsamic vinegar. They came out perfectly! - Steph M.
- Made kale chips tonight! So easy. Olive oil, salt, and bake for 10 minutes at 350. I'm not a good cook but this was easy and yummy. Even my kids liked it :) - Amy K.
- So, I tried out a Brussel sprouts, bacon and onion recipe and it was very tasty! - Janet G.
Kayla Henderson is the Sales Coordinator for INNATE Response*. Kayla likes to spend time with her friends, family, and new puppy Rocket. She enjoys cooking, DIY projects, and expanding her knowledge on everything. Kayla has personal ties to the industry as a very sick child who was helped by many of Dr. Weil and Dr. Tieraona's Low Dogs teachings.
*INNATE Response, like MegaFood, operates under the umbrella of its parent company, FoodState. While MegaFood is a consumer supplement brand, INNATE is our practitioner supplement brand. Just thought you might be wondering! :) XO!