Posts Tagged ‘CSA’

Just What is in a Full Share?

We plant a wide variety of crops. You will start the season with cool weather and spring crops: Lettuce, greens (chard, mustard, spinach, collard), radishes, garlic scapes, rhubarb and winter onions. During the warmer months you can expect green beans (several varieties), summer squash, greens (chard, mustard, spinach, collard) , herbs, cabbage, onions, new potatoes and fennel. The summer crops will continue some of those above and add in tomatoes (last year we planted 39 varieties), peppers, egg plant, garlic, celery and sweet corn (we don’t grow it but buy it from a local producer). As we transition in to the fall months we will still have tomatoes, peppers, egg plant, onions, potatoes, greens (chard, mustard, spinach, collard) , maybe green beans, and add in winter squash, popcorn (if the squirrels don’t eat it again this year), horse radish root, apples, and maybe pumpkins or corn shocks for decoration.

In 2019 there will be 18 Wednesdays between June 6, 2019 and October 2, 2019. We plan to have at least 18 weeks of shares but we could have as many as 20 if we have things ready for the last week of May and have a final pick up after October 2. This last 2 seasons we have had a last pickup in mid-October. The cost for a full season share is $400. The full amount has to be paid by March 1 to secure your spot. If you are a returning member we do offer a 10% discount if you sign up and pay by February 16.

The Short Season share is similar to the Full Share but does start later in the summer and only includes 6 weeks. We plan to start it in July and end in late August or early September. Shares will not be available every week depending on our schedule. Short season shares are $150 and available on Sunday afternoons.

If you are worried that you won’t be able to use everything, and this can be an issue, you can always find someone to share with or donate the extra.

You can pick your season and sign up by following this link: GI Acres CSA Share Types.

New To Us This Year– Bounty From the Box Cookbook

Just received a physical copy of the book “Bounty from the Box: The CSA Farm Cookbook” by Mi Ae Lipe.  In December I purchased a digital copy of the book with the hope that it would help us provide recipes to our CSA members. (The digital copy is only available to CSA farmers at this time with specific permissions from the author.)  Joining a CSA can be somewhat stressful.  Every week you are going to get a whole bunch of vegetables and it is likely that you will not have any idea what to do with some of them.  Last year we provided eggplant, kale, cucamelons, tatumi squash and a full 20 weeks of Swiss chard to our members.  We tried to give recipes, cooking and preserving tips especially when we were providing something new or even yet again.

The CSA Farm Cookbook

I had not really taken the time to look at the cookbook but did including a link to Bounty from the Box on our website and the announcement about 2017 membership.  Friday I received a print copy in the mail.  I was astounded by the size of the book.  It is the size of a 500 sheet ream of printer paper.  In actuality it is almost 700 pages long but it does really look like a ream of paper. The book is organized around the seasons beginning with spring CSA offerings and ending with winter.  Each entry includes a bit of history of the vegetable or fruit, nutrition facts, cleaning tips, several basic ways of cooking it (including microwaving) and information on preservation.  The book is easy to scan through and entertaining to read. I was truly impressed by the size of the book and the number of recipes and vegetables included.

Later, when we have fresh veggies from the garden and more time to play with them and I will post more about the recipes.  Looking through them though, they appear well balanced for a variety of eating styles and requirements.  If you eat meat, are vegan, need gluten free or other specialized diets you should be able to find recipes in this book that will help you eat the way you want or need to and use your CSA share in interesting ways.

We will be trying some of the recipes in the near future with food that we preserved last season.  I may even contact some of last season’s members to find out what they have preserved and share some of the recipes from the digital version early.  I know that some members still have food in the freezer.  They have told me about meals they have made this winter with our produce.  I find it especially gratifying to talk to a member in December or January that is pulling from their freezer a container of vegetables we grew and enjoying a bit of summer during the winter doldrums.

You can get your own copy of Bounty from the Box at www.bountyfromthebox.com. Follow them on Twitter @BountyfromBox and on Facebook @BountyfromtheBox.

Weekly CSA Shares

Week 06 (2)
Swiss Chard, Mustard, Collards, l Green Beans, Summer Squash, New Potatoes, Dill, Chives, Thyme and Purselane,
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Here is what our weekly shares contain.  If you see lots of veggies on a table that is the total for 9 shares.  If it is just in front of a basket that was one share.  Our goal was to provide at least $10 worth of Farmer’s Market quality fresh product to our members per week.  The contents of the shares change every week because different things are ready at different times.  We started with cool season crops like radishes, peas and lettuce and then progress into warm season items like cucumbers, summer squash and green beans.  Eventually we will have tomatoes, peppers, corn, and  maybe melons.  In the fall we hope to offer winter squash, late tomatoes and maybe some of the cools season crops like lettuce and radishes again.  Swiss chard has been a killer producer for us this year and I think people are getting tired of it but it sure is pretty and it tastes good.

We always send the beets and turnips home with the tops.  Our rabbits would love them but the tops cook up really nice for people too.

What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)? on Vimeo

A nice video explaining what a CSA is and how it works. We won’t be planting tomatoes with a tractor.

About GI Acres CSA

GI Acres is located on the western edge of Grand Island, Nebraska. The garden takes up about half of an acre. We also have chickens, rabbits and bees

Our farm is not USDA Certified Organic and we do not anticipate applying for such status. We strive to produce healthy vegetables using natural methods of fertilizing, building soil, and controlling pests such as insects and weeds. Those healthy vegetables will begin in mid to late May with herbs, asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries. During the season you can expect a variety of greens, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, squash, corn and potatoes along with tips about how to cook and preserve your weekly share. The season will conclude in late September or early October. We aim for a 20-week season.

We did not grow up on farms but we did grow up in families with large gardens, eating a variety of fresh produce and canning/freezing the excess. We have maintained the tradition of growing and preserving food for our family for the past 20+ years. GI Acres is our attempt to share that passion for good food with our community.