VanHoutte Farms CSA

Reflections on the 2018 CSA Season

I’ve been posting about our CSA boxes since early June. Have I been clear about what the heck a CSA is? CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Think of it as a subscription to a farm. We pay a fee at the beginning of the growing year. In return, every week, we get lovely organic produce: our fair share of what the farm produces.

Every week we pick up a mystery box of produce. Our distribution changes every week, depending on what’s ready to harvest on the farm. Our farmers – VanHoutte Farms in Armada, Michigan – fill our box each time (a half bushel box for a full share, or a peck box for a half share.) The boxes are always full with these folks, and we get the same size box every week. (Not all farms do it that way. Our first CSA divvied up the harvest by the number of subscribers; we ended that year with 34 pounds of winter squash, which was WAY too much for us!) 

Participating in a CSA changes how I think about planning my family’s meals. I used to choose a weekly menu, then make a grocery list. During the CSA season, as I unpack my box of fresh produce each week, and clean and trim the veggies, I think of what I might make with what’s now on hand. Only then will I decide on the week’s menu plan. My goal is to use up every scrap of that box. For almost half the year, my kitchen is focused on the best of local produce, and my family is eating better than ever because of it.

Looking back at the season as a whole, here are photos of the boxes from our 2018 CSA season from week 1 in the 1st week of June to week 22, at the end of October. So much good produce!