The “No Show” – How to Weather the CSA Off-Season


For those of you that have been following the latest at Springdell Farms, you are probably aware that the Spring CSA was cancelled for this season due to one of the toughest winters on record. Though we are sad, we fully understand and support this decision.  As shareholders, we buy into the farmer’s challenges as they work (and often have to battle) with Mother Nature.  Farmer Jamie is focusing energies on the upcoming Summer CSA, and has decided that one of the options for Spring shareholders will be a sort of extended winter CSA/pre-season CSA.  For us, this CSA will begin on Friday, May 15 (as our Summer CSA pickup day will be Friday) and carry us through until the beginning of the official Summer CSA season.

csa-365-avatar
But this is CSA 365!  What will we do until May 15 without our beloved CSA boxes?!?!  Not to worry, my fellow Springdellians.  Over the next 2 weeks, you will see a Springdell Show and Tell that deviates slightly from our traditional format.  We will turn to the bounties of our preserved CSA items that remain on our pantry shelves, in our root cellars and in our chest freezers.  We will drop in at our farm stand along the way, and we’ll continue the Show and Tell through the brief CSA off-season experience.  

image

If you’ve participated in a CSA before, you may be able to relate to the feelings that accompany the end of the seasonal CSA experience, whatever that season may be.  After spending a CSA season in abundance, your last pickup comes.  This can leave you in a state of withdrawal.  Symptoms usually include, but are not limited to:

  • Cradling your last empty CSA crate like a newborn (until you realize that you have to return it to the farmstand.  Yes, Winter Shareholders, please don’t forget to do so!)
  • Wandering the supermarket aisles in a state of complete disorientation having forgotten how to shop the conventional way.
  • Developing obsessive/compulsive routines of counting down the days until the next season’s tentative CSA start.
  • Curling up in the fetal position next to Patty the Pig.  (Please, don’t try this as we have found it to be frowned upon not only by the Farmers, but by Patty herself.)

image

Fortunately, help is available!  There are many available treatments for CSA withdrawal, including:

  • Visiting your farm stand, which is now open daily!  (Just walk up to the counter and ask what’s new!  This is, after all, your Farm Family!  Remember also that there is a farm stand loyalty discount offered to shareholders.)
  • Signing up for as many CSA options as you can!  Springdell works hard to bring different CSA options to their consumers year-round as Mother Nature allows.  
  • Learning to preserve the many seasonal foods available during their growing season.  In preparation for the slow times, keep the party going by freezing, fermenting, canning, dehydrating, and otherwise preserving the bounty for the off-seasons.  A vegetable that you may feel overwhelmed with during one season may be a totally welcome preserve in it’s off-season.
  • Using the off-season as a way to do some “spring cleaning” in your kitchen. You can get creative in using those preserved items, and make room in your pantries and freezers for the abundance of the upcoming season!
  • Tuning into CSA 365 – Think of this forum as your support group!  We are here for you and would not be here without you!

IMG_0181

Today, I dipped into the chest freezer for some “‘Dell Dough”.  I thawed some frozen Springdell Tomato Sauce with Italian Sausage, and quick-caramelized some of the remaining storage onions from the Winter CSA using the Winter CSA honey.  Long story short, the Springdell Pizza with Honey Caramelized Onions was born!  

image

image

image

image

image

How are you weathering the CSA off-season?  Please share your ideas, we’d love to hear them!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.