Hi Friends & Farm-ily,

Week 2 is here and over the next few weeks everyone will be getting into the groove of the CSA (including your farmers!)  Making more home cooked meals, feeling more confident in the kitchen, being open to trying new veggies!  We decided to keep the encouragement high with some helpful tips for CSA success.  These aren’t all the ways to be successful as each person’s journey is there own but eating well, preparing food at home, being conscious of our own food journeys, and staying inspired and curious about nourishing ourselves, our families & friends is what it’s all about.  If anything, reading through these should encourage you and make you feel great about the choice to sign up for CSA and be a part of your local farm!

Newsletter & Recipes.  First and foremost, read the weekly newsletter and recipe pdf each week!  There are lots of farm updates that you don’t want to miss out on.. as well as some tried and true recipes and suggestions from your farmers on how to prepare your weekly share.  We love growing the food but it’s just as important to us that you are eating and preparing the food and therefore have a life changing and positive experience!



Meal planning.  This is a great way to utilize each week’s bounty.  For those who have their meals planned each week you know that planning goes as follows, pick recipes, make a list, purchase groceries.   That’s because we cook from the recipe, not from its ingredients. With CSA cooking the idea is to start planning your meals after you pick up your share.  If meal planning seems overwhelming, start with just a few planned meals a week.  This change in the process means cooking with what’s in season, and it’s a good habit to get into to eating better and feeling great.

How to stride ahead.   This is a great video showing the simplicity and ease of processing veggies when first bringing them home.   Oh, the practical pleasures of eating.. of just how washing or soaking the greens, pre-roasting/cooking, & storing veggies can make for many more homemade meals in a busy week, increase the longevity of the produce and make cooking enjoyable (as it should be!)


Roots!  Root veggies (beets, carrots etc) and other bulb veggies (radish, turnip, kohlrabi, onions, fennel etc) all have leafy greens attached.  Make sure to cut the greens and store them separately so that they stop drawing moisture out of the veggie (if your carrots, radishes, beets etc get floppy.. now you know why).

Our bagged greens should keep wonderfully during the week in the “Bio-Bags.” One feature of the BioBag is that it “breathes” without leaking. This unique benefit allows excess moisture to evaporate, which keeps fruits and vegetables fresher, longer. For other items, it’s important to prep bunched greens and lettuce heads by washing, chopping and storing them in a tightly sealed container with a moist paper towel or try washing them wrapping them in a moist towel/paper towel and putting them in a bag.  Otherwise the refrigerator has its way with them and sucks out all their moisture… leaving much to be desired.


Freezing and canning.  Our Week 4 newsletter from last season is full of helpful information and places to start.  Some suggestions include: The Fermentation Bible:  Wild Fermentation – by Sandor Ellix Katz, Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round, Ball Blue Book of Preserving etc. Don’t forget that although you’re enjoying your veggies now there’s something satisfying about saving your extras for later in the year!  We are on our last dozen jars of homemade tomato sauce and can’t express how lovely it is to pop open a jar of our summer tomatoes!

Save those “scraps”!  Save the stems from the kale, collards, chard, spinach, the thick stalks from the broccoli, the ends and peels of carrots, tops of peppers, radish stems etc… Wrap up the scraps as you accumulate them (a pyrex or a bag with a moist towel works) and stash them in the fridge.  At the end of the week you can make a delicious stock.  Some folks make a gallon sized bag of “stock items” and freeze it for later… Check out this helpful blog post with all the details! Or, try out this recipe by Tamar Adler for Garlicky Leaf Stem and Core Pesto!  Or, as one of our awesome members pointed out – make a quick pickle out of the stems (chard, beet, kale, collard stems etc)!  Pickled stuff is delicious with all meals.


Enjoy eating new vegetables!  One of our greatest examples of this is the amount of people who grew up on boiled to death beets.. or worse, canned tasteless beets.  When people try the beets from the farm in a new way (roasted, in a salad, as burgers or even in brownies) they change their minds and there are so many things that contribute to that.  Mostly, it’s the openness of trying something new or trying something in a new way.  Branch out and explore your palette and see what tastes great to you.  You have your farmers to consult and a wealth of resources at your fingertips so don’t hesitate to be inspired!

Join the Working Hands Farm CSA Member Group on Facebook.  The WHF Facebook Group is a safe place (a private group) for Working Hands Farm CSA members to share recipe ideas, kitchen prep successes, food preservation ideas etc!  Check your email (titled, ‘WHF Member Page’) for the link!

Get inspired by Seasonal Cookbooks & Recipe Blogs.  Books, such as, An Everlasting Meal, Vegetable Literacy, From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce, Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Vegetables, The Four Season Farm Gardener’s CookbookSimply in Season or The Flavor Bible . Blogs, such as, The Year In Food, Smitten Kitchen, Happy Yolks or any of the others listed in the week 3 newsletter from past seasons!



Cooked! This is something Farmer Brian listened to while working on the tractor over the weekend. It’s Michael Pollan talking at the Philadelphia Library about his book ‘Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation.’ We thought it was a fascinating lecture on our relationship with food and cooking and very worth a listen. Sure to inspire and enjoy!   Click on the link to give it a listen.


Eating in season!  We live in such a fertile part of the US and should relish in all the wonderful things that grow where we live.  Waiting for those first seasonal crops can be hard after a winter of root veggies, brassicas, soups & bread but everything tastes that much sweeter (because it’s fresh, in season and grown just down the road in the dirt & in the open air!)  It’s easy to enjoy the conveniences of the grocery store (that’s what it’s there for) but we tell ya that waiting all winter and spring for that first seasonal vine ripened tomato is the best thing for ya!

Getting your fridge ready for fresh goodies!  Take the time the night before to make space for a new box of goodies, and to take inventory of any veggies that would love to be used up in a ‘end of the week’ stirfry, curry, soup, roasted veg, kale chips, smoothies, or green pesto!  Making vegetable stock is always a happy solution for extra veggies – rough chop them, simmer them in a few quarts of water (a cup or two of veggies to one quart of water) for 30 – 40 minutes, and you have stock. Strain it, freeze it, and so versatile!  Flavorful, rich in vitamins and minerals..


More veggies, please.  Add or double the amount of vegetables in your meals!  See how many different vegetables you can pack in to what you’re already cooking.



Eat or drink vegetables for breakfast! For breakfast try a simple sautee with greens & garlic, biscuits, with eggs, in a quiche or veggie pancakes Drink your veggies!  There are so many great veggie smoothies out there – whatever you have give it a go!

As your CSA farmers, throughout the 28-week season we provide you with the most nutrient rich, organic, thoughtfully-grown–with-love, fresh picked & seasonal produce!   We strive to….  grow produce according to the seasons and to the best of our abilities.  To introduce you to new varieties of veggies & include delicious ways to prepare them!  To encourage you to enjoy your time in the kitchen, be playful and to have fun.  Each week that you pick up your crate full of bounty we pass the torch to you.  We’re a part of each others food journey and we look forward to hearing week to week about what you’re cooking, what was eaten first and what you really enjoyed.  It completes our food journey here on the farm to hear and see how the hard work is being utilized and enjoyed!


Remember to return berry boxes, rubber bands and WHF egg cartons!  We may have some A LA CARTE EGGS available this week at the CSA pick-up.  First come, first serve.  Your farmers will be there to assist you. $9.50/dozen  Please bring checks only.  And check your emails soon for information regarding our Beef and Pork shares!


See you soon!

Our kindest regards,

Jess & Brian

dirty hands, clean hearts