How to get the most from Your CSA Membership
Begin with a sense of adventure… joining a CSA Veggie Box Program can be a great way to learn about new foods. It also makes it easier to achieve your goals by eating for health or eating to lose a few pounds. It’s also a simple way you can support local food production and keep smaller farms in the community.
Whatever your reasons, you’ll be getting fresh greens and veggies on a weekly or biweekly schedule…. You can count on it, so it’s time to make a plan to get the most out of your membership.
How to Get Started On Your Plan
Get familiar with the farm and our growing schedule. Check out the projected harvest chart to see what is being grown and when the different products will be available. You can use this as a guide as you begin to plan.
Make note of any items you’re not familiar with and do a quick Google search to learn how you can make use of them.
You just might find a new favourite. Of course, don’t forget to check our newsletter archive and blog for handling and storage tips… and recipes too. You’ll need some good recipes on hand. Here’s what to look for.
How to Find the Best Recipes To Get the Most From Your Veggie Box
To get the most from a weekly veggie box, focus on recipes that use raw unprocessed ingredients rather than a lot of prepared or canned goods. Investing in a seasonal cookbook will make it easier to have a selection of these types recipes on hand.
Keep an eye out for recipes that are quick and easy to prepare and those that can be prepared in larger volume and frozen for consumption later on.
Each month we publish one or two recipes for our members and subscribers. Most of these have a relatively short list of ingredients and they’re quick and easy to prepare.
You’ll also want to gather a few special recipes for those times when you have more time or help to enjoy the preparation process too. These may be favourites at the dinner table, but take too much time or labour for your usually busy routine. With a good plan you can fit these in.
Keys To A Good Plan
- Be realistic, and
- Keep it simple
Prepare a short list of go-to recipes and standard menu plans you can use over and over again. Come up with a two or three standard breakfasts, lunches and dinners along with ingredient checklists for each of these. Having these on hand makes meal planning, list preparation and shopping a whole lot easier.
How to Make Your Recipe Collection Easy to Use
Have a way to organize your recipes. This can be as simple as a binder with sections in it, a recipe card box, a digital organizer (such as Evernote or Nixnote), make use of bookmarking on your smartphone or computer browser or a combination of paper and digital. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It just has to be a system you can easily use. We’ll get into more on how to do this next month, but to get started here’s a tip:
You’ll want to order your recipes and make them easy to find based on
- type of dish
- main ingredients
- prep time
Coming up with a good system that works for you will take a bit of time but the pay off is worth it. As you put it together though I want you to be honest about how much time you have in your days. The only plan that works is one that you actually follow…
A Few Tips For Creating a Plan that Works for You
Set yourself up for success by choosing simpler easy to prepare meals that take less time than you think you have for the task. Reaching your goals is not so much about stretching yourself to reach higher nor to do more, but simply doing little things consistently again and again.
As you go along you can opt for more complex recipes and menus once you get comfortable with your new routine. Once you get into it you’ll be surprised how much easier it gets and just how much more you’ll be able to fit in…
You can schedule more involved meal preps for days when you are not so busy… and days when you may have children or grandchildren available to participate. It’s a wonderful opportunity to pass on valuable life skills while fostering healthy habits even as you enjoy some quality time together.
Consider preparing meals ahead on less busy days so you can quickly warm something up or put together snacks for the days you’re on the go. With a plan – you’re less likely to spend on less healthy options that may tempt you away from your plans to eat healthier this year.
It’s one we enjoy several times a month during the fall and winter at our house. We hope you’ll enjoy it too.