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Why a Juice Cleanse Might Be a Waste of Time (and Money)

Why a Juice Cleanse Might Be a Waste of Time (and Money)


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Juice cleanses may not be as healthy as you think

The juice cleanse business is drawing in customers like fruit flies, promising weight loss, body detoxification, and the treatment and prevention of everything from the common cold to cancer. Retailers are taking advantage of the craze, too, with Duane Reade’s new 40 Wall St. location including a juice/smoothie bar for customers and Starbucks opening its new Evolution Fresh juice bar chain this past Monday.

A nutritious juice here and there can be beneficial for your health, but when it’s taken to the extreme — limiting your diet to strictly juices for weeks — it not only fails to be the magic solution the fanatics are claiming it to be; it can also do more harm than good.

What Is a Juice Cleanse/Fast?

During a juice fast or cleanse, a person limits their diet to only fresh vegetable and fruit juices and water for anywhere from a few days to several weeks. The fast focuses on freshly made, unpasteurized juice, so the usual bottles of OJ that you would pick up at the bodega wouldn’t be allowed.

People generally either buy the juices from a manufacturer of juice cleanse products or purchase a juicer and make their own concoctions at home. According to The New York Times, the new cleanses contain about 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day and often include a nut-milk component to provide a small amount of fat and protein.

Pathogens can live on all raw food, but packaged juices go through a pasteurization process that kills them. If you do make your own juices at home, make sure to only make enough for one serving so you don’t give dangerous organisms a chance to develop. And, as always, scrub that produce clean!


Wasted Food: aka, Why This Farmer Hated CSA

  • 5

I used to grow and distribute vegetables by the CSA model. I hated it because of all the wasted food. And I'm not talking about throwing away the stems of tomatoes, or the skins of onions. I'm talking about wholesale waste of just about everything in the basket. I would feel offended if someone thought that they had to to eat the leaves of the carrots, but it seemed way disrespectful to me to let just about everything in the box rot away. At least have the decency to hide the box before the farmer shows up next week!

I had some people that would make salads, soups, stir-fries, or casseroles and use up every bit of food that I gave them and would be wishing for more before next week. They made the CSA model a joy. But they were only around 10% of the people I grew for. And it's not like I was providing lots of unusual fruits and vegetables that nobody had ever seen before. A zucchini is a zucchini even if it has stripes on it rather than being only green.

So welcome Linda! Looking forward to read what you have to write.

One thing I have noticed about eating what I grow, when I grow it, is that the foods that the corporate processed food industry puts together may not mature at the same time in my garden. So "traditional" food combinations might not be available when eating from a CSA. I'm sure that varies by climate and growing conditions. Linda, can you give us any ideas about what combinations go well together?

Here's some examples of what my baskets looked like:

June 22nd, 2011: Early spring greens. Spinach, lettuce, garlic and onion scallions, radishes, turnips, bok choi. Barely enough here to feed a rabbit.

July 25th 2012: Root crops and summer squash. Most of the green leafy things are long gone. Garlic, carrots, beets with greens, onions, onion scallions, summer squash, sweet pepper, and apricots.

August 17th, 2011: Finally some tomatoes. Summer squash, sweet corn, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, apricots, sweet pepper, green beans.

September 15th, 2010: Start of the winter storage vegetables. Winding down on highly perishable things. Winter squash, summer squash, watermelon, muskmelon, decorative pumpkin, cabbage kohlrabi, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, sweet corn, and green beans. Volume is way high!

October 19th, 2011: Last ditch gleaning efforts. Lots of things that can be stored for winter. Dry beans, wheat, apples, plums, tomatoes, beets, broccoli, cucumbers, sunroots, carrots, turnips, cabbage, and onion scallions.

  • 2

"Just outside our field of vision sits the unknown, calmly licking its chops."

  • 1

  • 6

Hans Albert Quistorff, LMT Hans Massage Qberry Farm
magnet therapy
gmail hquistorff

  • 4

First, let me say those baskets have me thinking of all sorts of delicious things I could make!

Second is more on topic. I would think one way to battle this might be including a piece of paper. Something that listed every item (and possibly a short description) in the current basket along with cooking suggestions (links to the recipes instead of having them on the paper to save space and paper) specific to that basket. The list would make it easier for people to recognize what they have and the suggestions would perhaps inspire them to use things they are less familiar with.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

  • 2

I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

You either eat it by itself, or you combine it with other foods. If it's raw, then it's either eat it out of hand, or put it in a salad.

If you're cooking food, the options are frying, boiling, or baking, either by itself or combined with other ingredients. That takes care of side-dishes, soups, casseroles, breads, and stir-fries.

Those few options pretty much cover every food that might show up in a CSA basket. Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

  • 1

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

Funny! Maybe you will be lucky and they will ask you how best to eat that particular variety of tomato.

A while back I stumbled across a CSA website that was full of recipes, featuring what was currently on offer. It seemed like a great idea, and if customers were able to submit their veg recipes, it might help inspire other customers?

  • 2

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


hee hee. As far as I'm concerned, cooking sure makes Romaine more palatable. Especially with extra bacon grease.

  • 5

Joseph Lofthouse wrote: I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it.

For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

I have dozens of recipes for the zucchini I mentioned earlier. Desserts, sides, entrees, breakfasts and even a drink. Doing an impromptu poll of people I know, only one knew anything to do with a zucchini aside from zucchini bread. The one that did, only knew of ratatouille and fried zucchini. That is a serious issue to me, considering how productive one plant can be in a garden. Endless meals and all they know how to make is a sweet bread that uses a cup or two at most per batch. This is why I would think that simple dishes using mostly ingredients found in the basket and items found in the typical household (milk, butter, seasonings, etc). I figure that anyone who joins a CSA is at least able to do recipes even if they can't improv.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

Hans Quistorff wrote: What I find frustrating is when my wife buys produce at the store because she looks in the refrigerator instead of out the window before she goes shopping.

I had this happen to me for the first time last year. We mostly cook and shop separately (she's cooking for her mother and there's little overlap with my plant-based diet) and it took some repetition before she learned to ask me for cilantro and jalepenos and tomatoes and cukes and green onions that I had just hanging out in the garden. But once my tomatoes really started producing, she got enthusiastic about them she's got better color vision than me and would look out the window going "you missed some!" after I came in with the day's haul.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

Abundance makes for laziness scarcity makes for thriftiness and people learn how to preserve food for later. In addition to fermenting, there is freezing (also mentioned above), pickling, salting, and drying.

I'm sure if these CSA subscribers didn't know where their next meal was coming from, every single bit of food would be used, in the manner of hunter-gatherers who had few times of feast punctuated by longer times of near-famine.

Maybe what is needed is a recipe insert with the food basket on how to make your own pickles, sauerkraut, salsas, sauces that can be frozen, and the like, tailored for the particular abundance of the season. That goes against the grain of our consumer oriented society, but so does the whole concept of CSA.

  • 2

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

I can't tell you how often I get the "What do you with that?" question from cashiers at Walmart who just got stumped trying to look up my produce item on their little cheat sheet of product codes. And if I found them at Walmart, they're not exotic vegetables!

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 1

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


It was in Houston, in a not-yet-gentrified grocery where you could be a frozen whole pigs head. She was probably thinking it was weird collard greens.
Reason #461 why I don't live there anymore.

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

  • 3

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables.

I'm not a farmer, but I find myself in sympathy with this. All the advice on handing out recipes along with the produce is probably smart from a marketing and entrepreneurial perspective, but if I were a farmer I think I'd find the necessity quite frustrating. Do the people who make pants have to hand out brochures with their product that tell you how to put pants on? No, they do not. Do the people who make beer have to, et cetera? No. If we live in a society where people have forgotten how to eat any food that isn't processed to a fare-thee-well and presented in plastic and cardboard, I think it's fair for people who make real food to feel grumpy about that fact.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 2

D. Logan wrote:
For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

This is so very true. I was lucky that my mom actually cooked from scratch, rather than just using canned food, restaurants, and microwavable dinners. But, even still, we ate few vegetables, and only prepared a few ways. We ate green beans only when they grew in the garden. We ate broccoli and cauliflower either dipped in ranch dressing, or steamed with cheese on them. The only salads we had were iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. We never had cooked carrots--they were always raw. And, we had stirfry, and I don't even know what veggies were in there except the zucchini that I hated.

Those were the only veggies I ever ate: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, green beans and tomatoes. And, potatoes, too (baked or mashed). I consider myself lucky that I ate as many vegetable as I did, and know one way to prepare them. My husband--and many, many more like him--had NO idea how to prepare, store, or eat vegetables. When I met my husband, he was 25 and didn't even know how to store carrots. I opened his silverware drawer and found wilted carrots! He thought that would be a good place to store them! He didn't even know spinach was a leaf--he just thought it was mush that came from a can!

People like my husband--and myself--are far more prevalent than you might think. We've both learned how to cook and eat far more food, but I still have to search the Internet to figure out what spices and foods complement which vegetables, and what is the most appetizing way to prepare them. My husband, when encountering a new food usually just eats it raw. and wonders why it's not that yummy.

Needless to say, we've never joined a CSA, because I did not want to waste resources on food that we wouldn't have time to figure out how to store &/or cook, and so would go to waste. Just like we don't plant food that we won't eat, I don't want to buy food that I may not get around to eating. It's a waste of food and money. Having simple recipes (with few additional ingredients)--with at least one of those recopies using up multiple different veggies from the CSA box--would probably help people like me. I know if I had such a recipe, I would be far more likely to take the time and brain power to try something.

Lack of time and brain power are a big hindrance, I think, to trying new things. People are busy, and it takes time and focus/brain power to learn to cook something new, even if you have a recipe. By brain power, I mean having the time/ability to focus on doing something new. For instance, I have a toddler. My life is hectic. I'm usually juggling 15 things at once, and if I try something new, I'm likely to destroy it when I get distracted by having to watch my child, clean the kitchen, and cook the other food for dinner. It's much easier to grab a bag of frozen peas that I know my toddler will eat and steam them in a way I know he'll eat them, rather than trying to impart brain power and time to figuring out how in the world to make radishes and squashes edible (and then have to cook the peas anyway, because my toddler wouldn't eat the radishes and still needs more food). I'm also far less likely to destroy the peas, since I've made them so many times before, than I am to ruin the radishes.


Wasted Food: aka, Why This Farmer Hated CSA

  • 5

I used to grow and distribute vegetables by the CSA model. I hated it because of all the wasted food. And I'm not talking about throwing away the stems of tomatoes, or the skins of onions. I'm talking about wholesale waste of just about everything in the basket. I would feel offended if someone thought that they had to to eat the leaves of the carrots, but it seemed way disrespectful to me to let just about everything in the box rot away. At least have the decency to hide the box before the farmer shows up next week!

I had some people that would make salads, soups, stir-fries, or casseroles and use up every bit of food that I gave them and would be wishing for more before next week. They made the CSA model a joy. But they were only around 10% of the people I grew for. And it's not like I was providing lots of unusual fruits and vegetables that nobody had ever seen before. A zucchini is a zucchini even if it has stripes on it rather than being only green.

So welcome Linda! Looking forward to read what you have to write.

One thing I have noticed about eating what I grow, when I grow it, is that the foods that the corporate processed food industry puts together may not mature at the same time in my garden. So "traditional" food combinations might not be available when eating from a CSA. I'm sure that varies by climate and growing conditions. Linda, can you give us any ideas about what combinations go well together?

Here's some examples of what my baskets looked like:

June 22nd, 2011: Early spring greens. Spinach, lettuce, garlic and onion scallions, radishes, turnips, bok choi. Barely enough here to feed a rabbit.

July 25th 2012: Root crops and summer squash. Most of the green leafy things are long gone. Garlic, carrots, beets with greens, onions, onion scallions, summer squash, sweet pepper, and apricots.

August 17th, 2011: Finally some tomatoes. Summer squash, sweet corn, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, apricots, sweet pepper, green beans.

September 15th, 2010: Start of the winter storage vegetables. Winding down on highly perishable things. Winter squash, summer squash, watermelon, muskmelon, decorative pumpkin, cabbage kohlrabi, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, sweet corn, and green beans. Volume is way high!

October 19th, 2011: Last ditch gleaning efforts. Lots of things that can be stored for winter. Dry beans, wheat, apples, plums, tomatoes, beets, broccoli, cucumbers, sunroots, carrots, turnips, cabbage, and onion scallions.

  • 2

"Just outside our field of vision sits the unknown, calmly licking its chops."

  • 1

  • 6

Hans Albert Quistorff, LMT Hans Massage Qberry Farm
magnet therapy
gmail hquistorff

  • 4

First, let me say those baskets have me thinking of all sorts of delicious things I could make!

Second is more on topic. I would think one way to battle this might be including a piece of paper. Something that listed every item (and possibly a short description) in the current basket along with cooking suggestions (links to the recipes instead of having them on the paper to save space and paper) specific to that basket. The list would make it easier for people to recognize what they have and the suggestions would perhaps inspire them to use things they are less familiar with.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

  • 2

I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

You either eat it by itself, or you combine it with other foods. If it's raw, then it's either eat it out of hand, or put it in a salad.

If you're cooking food, the options are frying, boiling, or baking, either by itself or combined with other ingredients. That takes care of side-dishes, soups, casseroles, breads, and stir-fries.

Those few options pretty much cover every food that might show up in a CSA basket. Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

  • 1

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

Funny! Maybe you will be lucky and they will ask you how best to eat that particular variety of tomato.

A while back I stumbled across a CSA website that was full of recipes, featuring what was currently on offer. It seemed like a great idea, and if customers were able to submit their veg recipes, it might help inspire other customers?

  • 2

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


hee hee. As far as I'm concerned, cooking sure makes Romaine more palatable. Especially with extra bacon grease.

  • 5

Joseph Lofthouse wrote: I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it.

For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

I have dozens of recipes for the zucchini I mentioned earlier. Desserts, sides, entrees, breakfasts and even a drink. Doing an impromptu poll of people I know, only one knew anything to do with a zucchini aside from zucchini bread. The one that did, only knew of ratatouille and fried zucchini. That is a serious issue to me, considering how productive one plant can be in a garden. Endless meals and all they know how to make is a sweet bread that uses a cup or two at most per batch. This is why I would think that simple dishes using mostly ingredients found in the basket and items found in the typical household (milk, butter, seasonings, etc). I figure that anyone who joins a CSA is at least able to do recipes even if they can't improv.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

Hans Quistorff wrote: What I find frustrating is when my wife buys produce at the store because she looks in the refrigerator instead of out the window before she goes shopping.

I had this happen to me for the first time last year. We mostly cook and shop separately (she's cooking for her mother and there's little overlap with my plant-based diet) and it took some repetition before she learned to ask me for cilantro and jalepenos and tomatoes and cukes and green onions that I had just hanging out in the garden. But once my tomatoes really started producing, she got enthusiastic about them she's got better color vision than me and would look out the window going "you missed some!" after I came in with the day's haul.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

Abundance makes for laziness scarcity makes for thriftiness and people learn how to preserve food for later. In addition to fermenting, there is freezing (also mentioned above), pickling, salting, and drying.

I'm sure if these CSA subscribers didn't know where their next meal was coming from, every single bit of food would be used, in the manner of hunter-gatherers who had few times of feast punctuated by longer times of near-famine.

Maybe what is needed is a recipe insert with the food basket on how to make your own pickles, sauerkraut, salsas, sauces that can be frozen, and the like, tailored for the particular abundance of the season. That goes against the grain of our consumer oriented society, but so does the whole concept of CSA.

  • 2

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

I can't tell you how often I get the "What do you with that?" question from cashiers at Walmart who just got stumped trying to look up my produce item on their little cheat sheet of product codes. And if I found them at Walmart, they're not exotic vegetables!

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 1

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


It was in Houston, in a not-yet-gentrified grocery where you could be a frozen whole pigs head. She was probably thinking it was weird collard greens.
Reason #461 why I don't live there anymore.

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

  • 3

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables.

I'm not a farmer, but I find myself in sympathy with this. All the advice on handing out recipes along with the produce is probably smart from a marketing and entrepreneurial perspective, but if I were a farmer I think I'd find the necessity quite frustrating. Do the people who make pants have to hand out brochures with their product that tell you how to put pants on? No, they do not. Do the people who make beer have to, et cetera? No. If we live in a society where people have forgotten how to eat any food that isn't processed to a fare-thee-well and presented in plastic and cardboard, I think it's fair for people who make real food to feel grumpy about that fact.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 2

D. Logan wrote:
For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

This is so very true. I was lucky that my mom actually cooked from scratch, rather than just using canned food, restaurants, and microwavable dinners. But, even still, we ate few vegetables, and only prepared a few ways. We ate green beans only when they grew in the garden. We ate broccoli and cauliflower either dipped in ranch dressing, or steamed with cheese on them. The only salads we had were iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. We never had cooked carrots--they were always raw. And, we had stirfry, and I don't even know what veggies were in there except the zucchini that I hated.

Those were the only veggies I ever ate: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, green beans and tomatoes. And, potatoes, too (baked or mashed). I consider myself lucky that I ate as many vegetable as I did, and know one way to prepare them. My husband--and many, many more like him--had NO idea how to prepare, store, or eat vegetables. When I met my husband, he was 25 and didn't even know how to store carrots. I opened his silverware drawer and found wilted carrots! He thought that would be a good place to store them! He didn't even know spinach was a leaf--he just thought it was mush that came from a can!

People like my husband--and myself--are far more prevalent than you might think. We've both learned how to cook and eat far more food, but I still have to search the Internet to figure out what spices and foods complement which vegetables, and what is the most appetizing way to prepare them. My husband, when encountering a new food usually just eats it raw. and wonders why it's not that yummy.

Needless to say, we've never joined a CSA, because I did not want to waste resources on food that we wouldn't have time to figure out how to store &/or cook, and so would go to waste. Just like we don't plant food that we won't eat, I don't want to buy food that I may not get around to eating. It's a waste of food and money. Having simple recipes (with few additional ingredients)--with at least one of those recopies using up multiple different veggies from the CSA box--would probably help people like me. I know if I had such a recipe, I would be far more likely to take the time and brain power to try something.

Lack of time and brain power are a big hindrance, I think, to trying new things. People are busy, and it takes time and focus/brain power to learn to cook something new, even if you have a recipe. By brain power, I mean having the time/ability to focus on doing something new. For instance, I have a toddler. My life is hectic. I'm usually juggling 15 things at once, and if I try something new, I'm likely to destroy it when I get distracted by having to watch my child, clean the kitchen, and cook the other food for dinner. It's much easier to grab a bag of frozen peas that I know my toddler will eat and steam them in a way I know he'll eat them, rather than trying to impart brain power and time to figuring out how in the world to make radishes and squashes edible (and then have to cook the peas anyway, because my toddler wouldn't eat the radishes and still needs more food). I'm also far less likely to destroy the peas, since I've made them so many times before, than I am to ruin the radishes.


Wasted Food: aka, Why This Farmer Hated CSA

  • 5

I used to grow and distribute vegetables by the CSA model. I hated it because of all the wasted food. And I'm not talking about throwing away the stems of tomatoes, or the skins of onions. I'm talking about wholesale waste of just about everything in the basket. I would feel offended if someone thought that they had to to eat the leaves of the carrots, but it seemed way disrespectful to me to let just about everything in the box rot away. At least have the decency to hide the box before the farmer shows up next week!

I had some people that would make salads, soups, stir-fries, or casseroles and use up every bit of food that I gave them and would be wishing for more before next week. They made the CSA model a joy. But they were only around 10% of the people I grew for. And it's not like I was providing lots of unusual fruits and vegetables that nobody had ever seen before. A zucchini is a zucchini even if it has stripes on it rather than being only green.

So welcome Linda! Looking forward to read what you have to write.

One thing I have noticed about eating what I grow, when I grow it, is that the foods that the corporate processed food industry puts together may not mature at the same time in my garden. So "traditional" food combinations might not be available when eating from a CSA. I'm sure that varies by climate and growing conditions. Linda, can you give us any ideas about what combinations go well together?

Here's some examples of what my baskets looked like:

June 22nd, 2011: Early spring greens. Spinach, lettuce, garlic and onion scallions, radishes, turnips, bok choi. Barely enough here to feed a rabbit.

July 25th 2012: Root crops and summer squash. Most of the green leafy things are long gone. Garlic, carrots, beets with greens, onions, onion scallions, summer squash, sweet pepper, and apricots.

August 17th, 2011: Finally some tomatoes. Summer squash, sweet corn, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, apricots, sweet pepper, green beans.

September 15th, 2010: Start of the winter storage vegetables. Winding down on highly perishable things. Winter squash, summer squash, watermelon, muskmelon, decorative pumpkin, cabbage kohlrabi, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, sweet corn, and green beans. Volume is way high!

October 19th, 2011: Last ditch gleaning efforts. Lots of things that can be stored for winter. Dry beans, wheat, apples, plums, tomatoes, beets, broccoli, cucumbers, sunroots, carrots, turnips, cabbage, and onion scallions.

  • 2

"Just outside our field of vision sits the unknown, calmly licking its chops."

  • 1

  • 6

Hans Albert Quistorff, LMT Hans Massage Qberry Farm
magnet therapy
gmail hquistorff

  • 4

First, let me say those baskets have me thinking of all sorts of delicious things I could make!

Second is more on topic. I would think one way to battle this might be including a piece of paper. Something that listed every item (and possibly a short description) in the current basket along with cooking suggestions (links to the recipes instead of having them on the paper to save space and paper) specific to that basket. The list would make it easier for people to recognize what they have and the suggestions would perhaps inspire them to use things they are less familiar with.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

  • 2

I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

You either eat it by itself, or you combine it with other foods. If it's raw, then it's either eat it out of hand, or put it in a salad.

If you're cooking food, the options are frying, boiling, or baking, either by itself or combined with other ingredients. That takes care of side-dishes, soups, casseroles, breads, and stir-fries.

Those few options pretty much cover every food that might show up in a CSA basket. Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

  • 1

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

Funny! Maybe you will be lucky and they will ask you how best to eat that particular variety of tomato.

A while back I stumbled across a CSA website that was full of recipes, featuring what was currently on offer. It seemed like a great idea, and if customers were able to submit their veg recipes, it might help inspire other customers?

  • 2

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


hee hee. As far as I'm concerned, cooking sure makes Romaine more palatable. Especially with extra bacon grease.

  • 5

Joseph Lofthouse wrote: I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it.

For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

I have dozens of recipes for the zucchini I mentioned earlier. Desserts, sides, entrees, breakfasts and even a drink. Doing an impromptu poll of people I know, only one knew anything to do with a zucchini aside from zucchini bread. The one that did, only knew of ratatouille and fried zucchini. That is a serious issue to me, considering how productive one plant can be in a garden. Endless meals and all they know how to make is a sweet bread that uses a cup or two at most per batch. This is why I would think that simple dishes using mostly ingredients found in the basket and items found in the typical household (milk, butter, seasonings, etc). I figure that anyone who joins a CSA is at least able to do recipes even if they can't improv.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

Hans Quistorff wrote: What I find frustrating is when my wife buys produce at the store because she looks in the refrigerator instead of out the window before she goes shopping.

I had this happen to me for the first time last year. We mostly cook and shop separately (she's cooking for her mother and there's little overlap with my plant-based diet) and it took some repetition before she learned to ask me for cilantro and jalepenos and tomatoes and cukes and green onions that I had just hanging out in the garden. But once my tomatoes really started producing, she got enthusiastic about them she's got better color vision than me and would look out the window going "you missed some!" after I came in with the day's haul.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

Abundance makes for laziness scarcity makes for thriftiness and people learn how to preserve food for later. In addition to fermenting, there is freezing (also mentioned above), pickling, salting, and drying.

I'm sure if these CSA subscribers didn't know where their next meal was coming from, every single bit of food would be used, in the manner of hunter-gatherers who had few times of feast punctuated by longer times of near-famine.

Maybe what is needed is a recipe insert with the food basket on how to make your own pickles, sauerkraut, salsas, sauces that can be frozen, and the like, tailored for the particular abundance of the season. That goes against the grain of our consumer oriented society, but so does the whole concept of CSA.

  • 2

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

I can't tell you how often I get the "What do you with that?" question from cashiers at Walmart who just got stumped trying to look up my produce item on their little cheat sheet of product codes. And if I found them at Walmart, they're not exotic vegetables!

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 1

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


It was in Houston, in a not-yet-gentrified grocery where you could be a frozen whole pigs head. She was probably thinking it was weird collard greens.
Reason #461 why I don't live there anymore.

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

  • 3

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables.

I'm not a farmer, but I find myself in sympathy with this. All the advice on handing out recipes along with the produce is probably smart from a marketing and entrepreneurial perspective, but if I were a farmer I think I'd find the necessity quite frustrating. Do the people who make pants have to hand out brochures with their product that tell you how to put pants on? No, they do not. Do the people who make beer have to, et cetera? No. If we live in a society where people have forgotten how to eat any food that isn't processed to a fare-thee-well and presented in plastic and cardboard, I think it's fair for people who make real food to feel grumpy about that fact.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 2

D. Logan wrote:
For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

This is so very true. I was lucky that my mom actually cooked from scratch, rather than just using canned food, restaurants, and microwavable dinners. But, even still, we ate few vegetables, and only prepared a few ways. We ate green beans only when they grew in the garden. We ate broccoli and cauliflower either dipped in ranch dressing, or steamed with cheese on them. The only salads we had were iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. We never had cooked carrots--they were always raw. And, we had stirfry, and I don't even know what veggies were in there except the zucchini that I hated.

Those were the only veggies I ever ate: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, green beans and tomatoes. And, potatoes, too (baked or mashed). I consider myself lucky that I ate as many vegetable as I did, and know one way to prepare them. My husband--and many, many more like him--had NO idea how to prepare, store, or eat vegetables. When I met my husband, he was 25 and didn't even know how to store carrots. I opened his silverware drawer and found wilted carrots! He thought that would be a good place to store them! He didn't even know spinach was a leaf--he just thought it was mush that came from a can!

People like my husband--and myself--are far more prevalent than you might think. We've both learned how to cook and eat far more food, but I still have to search the Internet to figure out what spices and foods complement which vegetables, and what is the most appetizing way to prepare them. My husband, when encountering a new food usually just eats it raw. and wonders why it's not that yummy.

Needless to say, we've never joined a CSA, because I did not want to waste resources on food that we wouldn't have time to figure out how to store &/or cook, and so would go to waste. Just like we don't plant food that we won't eat, I don't want to buy food that I may not get around to eating. It's a waste of food and money. Having simple recipes (with few additional ingredients)--with at least one of those recopies using up multiple different veggies from the CSA box--would probably help people like me. I know if I had such a recipe, I would be far more likely to take the time and brain power to try something.

Lack of time and brain power are a big hindrance, I think, to trying new things. People are busy, and it takes time and focus/brain power to learn to cook something new, even if you have a recipe. By brain power, I mean having the time/ability to focus on doing something new. For instance, I have a toddler. My life is hectic. I'm usually juggling 15 things at once, and if I try something new, I'm likely to destroy it when I get distracted by having to watch my child, clean the kitchen, and cook the other food for dinner. It's much easier to grab a bag of frozen peas that I know my toddler will eat and steam them in a way I know he'll eat them, rather than trying to impart brain power and time to figuring out how in the world to make radishes and squashes edible (and then have to cook the peas anyway, because my toddler wouldn't eat the radishes and still needs more food). I'm also far less likely to destroy the peas, since I've made them so many times before, than I am to ruin the radishes.


Wasted Food: aka, Why This Farmer Hated CSA

  • 5

I used to grow and distribute vegetables by the CSA model. I hated it because of all the wasted food. And I'm not talking about throwing away the stems of tomatoes, or the skins of onions. I'm talking about wholesale waste of just about everything in the basket. I would feel offended if someone thought that they had to to eat the leaves of the carrots, but it seemed way disrespectful to me to let just about everything in the box rot away. At least have the decency to hide the box before the farmer shows up next week!

I had some people that would make salads, soups, stir-fries, or casseroles and use up every bit of food that I gave them and would be wishing for more before next week. They made the CSA model a joy. But they were only around 10% of the people I grew for. And it's not like I was providing lots of unusual fruits and vegetables that nobody had ever seen before. A zucchini is a zucchini even if it has stripes on it rather than being only green.

So welcome Linda! Looking forward to read what you have to write.

One thing I have noticed about eating what I grow, when I grow it, is that the foods that the corporate processed food industry puts together may not mature at the same time in my garden. So "traditional" food combinations might not be available when eating from a CSA. I'm sure that varies by climate and growing conditions. Linda, can you give us any ideas about what combinations go well together?

Here's some examples of what my baskets looked like:

June 22nd, 2011: Early spring greens. Spinach, lettuce, garlic and onion scallions, radishes, turnips, bok choi. Barely enough here to feed a rabbit.

July 25th 2012: Root crops and summer squash. Most of the green leafy things are long gone. Garlic, carrots, beets with greens, onions, onion scallions, summer squash, sweet pepper, and apricots.

August 17th, 2011: Finally some tomatoes. Summer squash, sweet corn, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, apricots, sweet pepper, green beans.

September 15th, 2010: Start of the winter storage vegetables. Winding down on highly perishable things. Winter squash, summer squash, watermelon, muskmelon, decorative pumpkin, cabbage kohlrabi, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, sweet corn, and green beans. Volume is way high!

October 19th, 2011: Last ditch gleaning efforts. Lots of things that can be stored for winter. Dry beans, wheat, apples, plums, tomatoes, beets, broccoli, cucumbers, sunroots, carrots, turnips, cabbage, and onion scallions.

  • 2

"Just outside our field of vision sits the unknown, calmly licking its chops."

  • 1

  • 6

Hans Albert Quistorff, LMT Hans Massage Qberry Farm
magnet therapy
gmail hquistorff

  • 4

First, let me say those baskets have me thinking of all sorts of delicious things I could make!

Second is more on topic. I would think one way to battle this might be including a piece of paper. Something that listed every item (and possibly a short description) in the current basket along with cooking suggestions (links to the recipes instead of having them on the paper to save space and paper) specific to that basket. The list would make it easier for people to recognize what they have and the suggestions would perhaps inspire them to use things they are less familiar with.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

  • 2

I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

You either eat it by itself, or you combine it with other foods. If it's raw, then it's either eat it out of hand, or put it in a salad.

If you're cooking food, the options are frying, boiling, or baking, either by itself or combined with other ingredients. That takes care of side-dishes, soups, casseroles, breads, and stir-fries.

Those few options pretty much cover every food that might show up in a CSA basket. Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

  • 1

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

Funny! Maybe you will be lucky and they will ask you how best to eat that particular variety of tomato.

A while back I stumbled across a CSA website that was full of recipes, featuring what was currently on offer. It seemed like a great idea, and if customers were able to submit their veg recipes, it might help inspire other customers?

  • 2

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


hee hee. As far as I'm concerned, cooking sure makes Romaine more palatable. Especially with extra bacon grease.

  • 5

Joseph Lofthouse wrote: I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it.

For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

I have dozens of recipes for the zucchini I mentioned earlier. Desserts, sides, entrees, breakfasts and even a drink. Doing an impromptu poll of people I know, only one knew anything to do with a zucchini aside from zucchini bread. The one that did, only knew of ratatouille and fried zucchini. That is a serious issue to me, considering how productive one plant can be in a garden. Endless meals and all they know how to make is a sweet bread that uses a cup or two at most per batch. This is why I would think that simple dishes using mostly ingredients found in the basket and items found in the typical household (milk, butter, seasonings, etc). I figure that anyone who joins a CSA is at least able to do recipes even if they can't improv.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

Hans Quistorff wrote: What I find frustrating is when my wife buys produce at the store because she looks in the refrigerator instead of out the window before she goes shopping.

I had this happen to me for the first time last year. We mostly cook and shop separately (she's cooking for her mother and there's little overlap with my plant-based diet) and it took some repetition before she learned to ask me for cilantro and jalepenos and tomatoes and cukes and green onions that I had just hanging out in the garden. But once my tomatoes really started producing, she got enthusiastic about them she's got better color vision than me and would look out the window going "you missed some!" after I came in with the day's haul.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

Abundance makes for laziness scarcity makes for thriftiness and people learn how to preserve food for later. In addition to fermenting, there is freezing (also mentioned above), pickling, salting, and drying.

I'm sure if these CSA subscribers didn't know where their next meal was coming from, every single bit of food would be used, in the manner of hunter-gatherers who had few times of feast punctuated by longer times of near-famine.

Maybe what is needed is a recipe insert with the food basket on how to make your own pickles, sauerkraut, salsas, sauces that can be frozen, and the like, tailored for the particular abundance of the season. That goes against the grain of our consumer oriented society, but so does the whole concept of CSA.

  • 2

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

I can't tell you how often I get the "What do you with that?" question from cashiers at Walmart who just got stumped trying to look up my produce item on their little cheat sheet of product codes. And if I found them at Walmart, they're not exotic vegetables!

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 1

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


It was in Houston, in a not-yet-gentrified grocery where you could be a frozen whole pigs head. She was probably thinking it was weird collard greens.
Reason #461 why I don't live there anymore.

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

  • 3

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables.

I'm not a farmer, but I find myself in sympathy with this. All the advice on handing out recipes along with the produce is probably smart from a marketing and entrepreneurial perspective, but if I were a farmer I think I'd find the necessity quite frustrating. Do the people who make pants have to hand out brochures with their product that tell you how to put pants on? No, they do not. Do the people who make beer have to, et cetera? No. If we live in a society where people have forgotten how to eat any food that isn't processed to a fare-thee-well and presented in plastic and cardboard, I think it's fair for people who make real food to feel grumpy about that fact.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 2

D. Logan wrote:
For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

This is so very true. I was lucky that my mom actually cooked from scratch, rather than just using canned food, restaurants, and microwavable dinners. But, even still, we ate few vegetables, and only prepared a few ways. We ate green beans only when they grew in the garden. We ate broccoli and cauliflower either dipped in ranch dressing, or steamed with cheese on them. The only salads we had were iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. We never had cooked carrots--they were always raw. And, we had stirfry, and I don't even know what veggies were in there except the zucchini that I hated.

Those were the only veggies I ever ate: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, green beans and tomatoes. And, potatoes, too (baked or mashed). I consider myself lucky that I ate as many vegetable as I did, and know one way to prepare them. My husband--and many, many more like him--had NO idea how to prepare, store, or eat vegetables. When I met my husband, he was 25 and didn't even know how to store carrots. I opened his silverware drawer and found wilted carrots! He thought that would be a good place to store them! He didn't even know spinach was a leaf--he just thought it was mush that came from a can!

People like my husband--and myself--are far more prevalent than you might think. We've both learned how to cook and eat far more food, but I still have to search the Internet to figure out what spices and foods complement which vegetables, and what is the most appetizing way to prepare them. My husband, when encountering a new food usually just eats it raw. and wonders why it's not that yummy.

Needless to say, we've never joined a CSA, because I did not want to waste resources on food that we wouldn't have time to figure out how to store &/or cook, and so would go to waste. Just like we don't plant food that we won't eat, I don't want to buy food that I may not get around to eating. It's a waste of food and money. Having simple recipes (with few additional ingredients)--with at least one of those recopies using up multiple different veggies from the CSA box--would probably help people like me. I know if I had such a recipe, I would be far more likely to take the time and brain power to try something.

Lack of time and brain power are a big hindrance, I think, to trying new things. People are busy, and it takes time and focus/brain power to learn to cook something new, even if you have a recipe. By brain power, I mean having the time/ability to focus on doing something new. For instance, I have a toddler. My life is hectic. I'm usually juggling 15 things at once, and if I try something new, I'm likely to destroy it when I get distracted by having to watch my child, clean the kitchen, and cook the other food for dinner. It's much easier to grab a bag of frozen peas that I know my toddler will eat and steam them in a way I know he'll eat them, rather than trying to impart brain power and time to figuring out how in the world to make radishes and squashes edible (and then have to cook the peas anyway, because my toddler wouldn't eat the radishes and still needs more food). I'm also far less likely to destroy the peas, since I've made them so many times before, than I am to ruin the radishes.


Wasted Food: aka, Why This Farmer Hated CSA

  • 5

I used to grow and distribute vegetables by the CSA model. I hated it because of all the wasted food. And I'm not talking about throwing away the stems of tomatoes, or the skins of onions. I'm talking about wholesale waste of just about everything in the basket. I would feel offended if someone thought that they had to to eat the leaves of the carrots, but it seemed way disrespectful to me to let just about everything in the box rot away. At least have the decency to hide the box before the farmer shows up next week!

I had some people that would make salads, soups, stir-fries, or casseroles and use up every bit of food that I gave them and would be wishing for more before next week. They made the CSA model a joy. But they were only around 10% of the people I grew for. And it's not like I was providing lots of unusual fruits and vegetables that nobody had ever seen before. A zucchini is a zucchini even if it has stripes on it rather than being only green.

So welcome Linda! Looking forward to read what you have to write.

One thing I have noticed about eating what I grow, when I grow it, is that the foods that the corporate processed food industry puts together may not mature at the same time in my garden. So "traditional" food combinations might not be available when eating from a CSA. I'm sure that varies by climate and growing conditions. Linda, can you give us any ideas about what combinations go well together?

Here's some examples of what my baskets looked like:

June 22nd, 2011: Early spring greens. Spinach, lettuce, garlic and onion scallions, radishes, turnips, bok choi. Barely enough here to feed a rabbit.

July 25th 2012: Root crops and summer squash. Most of the green leafy things are long gone. Garlic, carrots, beets with greens, onions, onion scallions, summer squash, sweet pepper, and apricots.

August 17th, 2011: Finally some tomatoes. Summer squash, sweet corn, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, apricots, sweet pepper, green beans.

September 15th, 2010: Start of the winter storage vegetables. Winding down on highly perishable things. Winter squash, summer squash, watermelon, muskmelon, decorative pumpkin, cabbage kohlrabi, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, sweet corn, and green beans. Volume is way high!

October 19th, 2011: Last ditch gleaning efforts. Lots of things that can be stored for winter. Dry beans, wheat, apples, plums, tomatoes, beets, broccoli, cucumbers, sunroots, carrots, turnips, cabbage, and onion scallions.

  • 2

"Just outside our field of vision sits the unknown, calmly licking its chops."

  • 1

  • 6

Hans Albert Quistorff, LMT Hans Massage Qberry Farm
magnet therapy
gmail hquistorff

  • 4

First, let me say those baskets have me thinking of all sorts of delicious things I could make!

Second is more on topic. I would think one way to battle this might be including a piece of paper. Something that listed every item (and possibly a short description) in the current basket along with cooking suggestions (links to the recipes instead of having them on the paper to save space and paper) specific to that basket. The list would make it easier for people to recognize what they have and the suggestions would perhaps inspire them to use things they are less familiar with.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

  • 2

I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

You either eat it by itself, or you combine it with other foods. If it's raw, then it's either eat it out of hand, or put it in a salad.

If you're cooking food, the options are frying, boiling, or baking, either by itself or combined with other ingredients. That takes care of side-dishes, soups, casseroles, breads, and stir-fries.

Those few options pretty much cover every food that might show up in a CSA basket. Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

  • 1

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

Funny! Maybe you will be lucky and they will ask you how best to eat that particular variety of tomato.

A while back I stumbled across a CSA website that was full of recipes, featuring what was currently on offer. It seemed like a great idea, and if customers were able to submit their veg recipes, it might help inspire other customers?

  • 2

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


hee hee. As far as I'm concerned, cooking sure makes Romaine more palatable. Especially with extra bacon grease.

  • 5

Joseph Lofthouse wrote: I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it.

For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

I have dozens of recipes for the zucchini I mentioned earlier. Desserts, sides, entrees, breakfasts and even a drink. Doing an impromptu poll of people I know, only one knew anything to do with a zucchini aside from zucchini bread. The one that did, only knew of ratatouille and fried zucchini. That is a serious issue to me, considering how productive one plant can be in a garden. Endless meals and all they know how to make is a sweet bread that uses a cup or two at most per batch. This is why I would think that simple dishes using mostly ingredients found in the basket and items found in the typical household (milk, butter, seasonings, etc). I figure that anyone who joins a CSA is at least able to do recipes even if they can't improv.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

Hans Quistorff wrote: What I find frustrating is when my wife buys produce at the store because she looks in the refrigerator instead of out the window before she goes shopping.

I had this happen to me for the first time last year. We mostly cook and shop separately (she's cooking for her mother and there's little overlap with my plant-based diet) and it took some repetition before she learned to ask me for cilantro and jalepenos and tomatoes and cukes and green onions that I had just hanging out in the garden. But once my tomatoes really started producing, she got enthusiastic about them she's got better color vision than me and would look out the window going "you missed some!" after I came in with the day's haul.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

Abundance makes for laziness scarcity makes for thriftiness and people learn how to preserve food for later. In addition to fermenting, there is freezing (also mentioned above), pickling, salting, and drying.

I'm sure if these CSA subscribers didn't know where their next meal was coming from, every single bit of food would be used, in the manner of hunter-gatherers who had few times of feast punctuated by longer times of near-famine.

Maybe what is needed is a recipe insert with the food basket on how to make your own pickles, sauerkraut, salsas, sauces that can be frozen, and the like, tailored for the particular abundance of the season. That goes against the grain of our consumer oriented society, but so does the whole concept of CSA.

  • 2

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

I can't tell you how often I get the "What do you with that?" question from cashiers at Walmart who just got stumped trying to look up my produce item on their little cheat sheet of product codes. And if I found them at Walmart, they're not exotic vegetables!

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 1

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


It was in Houston, in a not-yet-gentrified grocery where you could be a frozen whole pigs head. She was probably thinking it was weird collard greens.
Reason #461 why I don't live there anymore.

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

  • 3

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables.

I'm not a farmer, but I find myself in sympathy with this. All the advice on handing out recipes along with the produce is probably smart from a marketing and entrepreneurial perspective, but if I were a farmer I think I'd find the necessity quite frustrating. Do the people who make pants have to hand out brochures with their product that tell you how to put pants on? No, they do not. Do the people who make beer have to, et cetera? No. If we live in a society where people have forgotten how to eat any food that isn't processed to a fare-thee-well and presented in plastic and cardboard, I think it's fair for people who make real food to feel grumpy about that fact.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 2

D. Logan wrote:
For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

This is so very true. I was lucky that my mom actually cooked from scratch, rather than just using canned food, restaurants, and microwavable dinners. But, even still, we ate few vegetables, and only prepared a few ways. We ate green beans only when they grew in the garden. We ate broccoli and cauliflower either dipped in ranch dressing, or steamed with cheese on them. The only salads we had were iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. We never had cooked carrots--they were always raw. And, we had stirfry, and I don't even know what veggies were in there except the zucchini that I hated.

Those were the only veggies I ever ate: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, green beans and tomatoes. And, potatoes, too (baked or mashed). I consider myself lucky that I ate as many vegetable as I did, and know one way to prepare them. My husband--and many, many more like him--had NO idea how to prepare, store, or eat vegetables. When I met my husband, he was 25 and didn't even know how to store carrots. I opened his silverware drawer and found wilted carrots! He thought that would be a good place to store them! He didn't even know spinach was a leaf--he just thought it was mush that came from a can!

People like my husband--and myself--are far more prevalent than you might think. We've both learned how to cook and eat far more food, but I still have to search the Internet to figure out what spices and foods complement which vegetables, and what is the most appetizing way to prepare them. My husband, when encountering a new food usually just eats it raw. and wonders why it's not that yummy.

Needless to say, we've never joined a CSA, because I did not want to waste resources on food that we wouldn't have time to figure out how to store &/or cook, and so would go to waste. Just like we don't plant food that we won't eat, I don't want to buy food that I may not get around to eating. It's a waste of food and money. Having simple recipes (with few additional ingredients)--with at least one of those recopies using up multiple different veggies from the CSA box--would probably help people like me. I know if I had such a recipe, I would be far more likely to take the time and brain power to try something.

Lack of time and brain power are a big hindrance, I think, to trying new things. People are busy, and it takes time and focus/brain power to learn to cook something new, even if you have a recipe. By brain power, I mean having the time/ability to focus on doing something new. For instance, I have a toddler. My life is hectic. I'm usually juggling 15 things at once, and if I try something new, I'm likely to destroy it when I get distracted by having to watch my child, clean the kitchen, and cook the other food for dinner. It's much easier to grab a bag of frozen peas that I know my toddler will eat and steam them in a way I know he'll eat them, rather than trying to impart brain power and time to figuring out how in the world to make radishes and squashes edible (and then have to cook the peas anyway, because my toddler wouldn't eat the radishes and still needs more food). I'm also far less likely to destroy the peas, since I've made them so many times before, than I am to ruin the radishes.


Wasted Food: aka, Why This Farmer Hated CSA

  • 5

I used to grow and distribute vegetables by the CSA model. I hated it because of all the wasted food. And I'm not talking about throwing away the stems of tomatoes, or the skins of onions. I'm talking about wholesale waste of just about everything in the basket. I would feel offended if someone thought that they had to to eat the leaves of the carrots, but it seemed way disrespectful to me to let just about everything in the box rot away. At least have the decency to hide the box before the farmer shows up next week!

I had some people that would make salads, soups, stir-fries, or casseroles and use up every bit of food that I gave them and would be wishing for more before next week. They made the CSA model a joy. But they were only around 10% of the people I grew for. And it's not like I was providing lots of unusual fruits and vegetables that nobody had ever seen before. A zucchini is a zucchini even if it has stripes on it rather than being only green.

So welcome Linda! Looking forward to read what you have to write.

One thing I have noticed about eating what I grow, when I grow it, is that the foods that the corporate processed food industry puts together may not mature at the same time in my garden. So "traditional" food combinations might not be available when eating from a CSA. I'm sure that varies by climate and growing conditions. Linda, can you give us any ideas about what combinations go well together?

Here's some examples of what my baskets looked like:

June 22nd, 2011: Early spring greens. Spinach, lettuce, garlic and onion scallions, radishes, turnips, bok choi. Barely enough here to feed a rabbit.

July 25th 2012: Root crops and summer squash. Most of the green leafy things are long gone. Garlic, carrots, beets with greens, onions, onion scallions, summer squash, sweet pepper, and apricots.

August 17th, 2011: Finally some tomatoes. Summer squash, sweet corn, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, apricots, sweet pepper, green beans.

September 15th, 2010: Start of the winter storage vegetables. Winding down on highly perishable things. Winter squash, summer squash, watermelon, muskmelon, decorative pumpkin, cabbage kohlrabi, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, sweet corn, and green beans. Volume is way high!

October 19th, 2011: Last ditch gleaning efforts. Lots of things that can be stored for winter. Dry beans, wheat, apples, plums, tomatoes, beets, broccoli, cucumbers, sunroots, carrots, turnips, cabbage, and onion scallions.

  • 2

"Just outside our field of vision sits the unknown, calmly licking its chops."

  • 1

  • 6

Hans Albert Quistorff, LMT Hans Massage Qberry Farm
magnet therapy
gmail hquistorff

  • 4

First, let me say those baskets have me thinking of all sorts of delicious things I could make!

Second is more on topic. I would think one way to battle this might be including a piece of paper. Something that listed every item (and possibly a short description) in the current basket along with cooking suggestions (links to the recipes instead of having them on the paper to save space and paper) specific to that basket. The list would make it easier for people to recognize what they have and the suggestions would perhaps inspire them to use things they are less familiar with.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

  • 2

I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

You either eat it by itself, or you combine it with other foods. If it's raw, then it's either eat it out of hand, or put it in a salad.

If you're cooking food, the options are frying, boiling, or baking, either by itself or combined with other ingredients. That takes care of side-dishes, soups, casseroles, breads, and stir-fries.

Those few options pretty much cover every food that might show up in a CSA basket. Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

  • 1

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

Funny! Maybe you will be lucky and they will ask you how best to eat that particular variety of tomato.

A while back I stumbled across a CSA website that was full of recipes, featuring what was currently on offer. It seemed like a great idea, and if customers were able to submit their veg recipes, it might help inspire other customers?

  • 2

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


hee hee. As far as I'm concerned, cooking sure makes Romaine more palatable. Especially with extra bacon grease.

  • 5

Joseph Lofthouse wrote: I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it.

For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

I have dozens of recipes for the zucchini I mentioned earlier. Desserts, sides, entrees, breakfasts and even a drink. Doing an impromptu poll of people I know, only one knew anything to do with a zucchini aside from zucchini bread. The one that did, only knew of ratatouille and fried zucchini. That is a serious issue to me, considering how productive one plant can be in a garden. Endless meals and all they know how to make is a sweet bread that uses a cup or two at most per batch. This is why I would think that simple dishes using mostly ingredients found in the basket and items found in the typical household (milk, butter, seasonings, etc). I figure that anyone who joins a CSA is at least able to do recipes even if they can't improv.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

Hans Quistorff wrote: What I find frustrating is when my wife buys produce at the store because she looks in the refrigerator instead of out the window before she goes shopping.

I had this happen to me for the first time last year. We mostly cook and shop separately (she's cooking for her mother and there's little overlap with my plant-based diet) and it took some repetition before she learned to ask me for cilantro and jalepenos and tomatoes and cukes and green onions that I had just hanging out in the garden. But once my tomatoes really started producing, she got enthusiastic about them she's got better color vision than me and would look out the window going "you missed some!" after I came in with the day's haul.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

Abundance makes for laziness scarcity makes for thriftiness and people learn how to preserve food for later. In addition to fermenting, there is freezing (also mentioned above), pickling, salting, and drying.

I'm sure if these CSA subscribers didn't know where their next meal was coming from, every single bit of food would be used, in the manner of hunter-gatherers who had few times of feast punctuated by longer times of near-famine.

Maybe what is needed is a recipe insert with the food basket on how to make your own pickles, sauerkraut, salsas, sauces that can be frozen, and the like, tailored for the particular abundance of the season. That goes against the grain of our consumer oriented society, but so does the whole concept of CSA.

  • 2

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

I can't tell you how often I get the "What do you with that?" question from cashiers at Walmart who just got stumped trying to look up my produce item on their little cheat sheet of product codes. And if I found them at Walmart, they're not exotic vegetables!

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 1

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


It was in Houston, in a not-yet-gentrified grocery where you could be a frozen whole pigs head. She was probably thinking it was weird collard greens.
Reason #461 why I don't live there anymore.

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

  • 3

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables.

I'm not a farmer, but I find myself in sympathy with this. All the advice on handing out recipes along with the produce is probably smart from a marketing and entrepreneurial perspective, but if I were a farmer I think I'd find the necessity quite frustrating. Do the people who make pants have to hand out brochures with their product that tell you how to put pants on? No, they do not. Do the people who make beer have to, et cetera? No. If we live in a society where people have forgotten how to eat any food that isn't processed to a fare-thee-well and presented in plastic and cardboard, I think it's fair for people who make real food to feel grumpy about that fact.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 2

D. Logan wrote:
For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

This is so very true. I was lucky that my mom actually cooked from scratch, rather than just using canned food, restaurants, and microwavable dinners. But, even still, we ate few vegetables, and only prepared a few ways. We ate green beans only when they grew in the garden. We ate broccoli and cauliflower either dipped in ranch dressing, or steamed with cheese on them. The only salads we had were iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. We never had cooked carrots--they were always raw. And, we had stirfry, and I don't even know what veggies were in there except the zucchini that I hated.

Those were the only veggies I ever ate: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, green beans and tomatoes. And, potatoes, too (baked or mashed). I consider myself lucky that I ate as many vegetable as I did, and know one way to prepare them. My husband--and many, many more like him--had NO idea how to prepare, store, or eat vegetables. When I met my husband, he was 25 and didn't even know how to store carrots. I opened his silverware drawer and found wilted carrots! He thought that would be a good place to store them! He didn't even know spinach was a leaf--he just thought it was mush that came from a can!

People like my husband--and myself--are far more prevalent than you might think. We've both learned how to cook and eat far more food, but I still have to search the Internet to figure out what spices and foods complement which vegetables, and what is the most appetizing way to prepare them. My husband, when encountering a new food usually just eats it raw. and wonders why it's not that yummy.

Needless to say, we've never joined a CSA, because I did not want to waste resources on food that we wouldn't have time to figure out how to store &/or cook, and so would go to waste. Just like we don't plant food that we won't eat, I don't want to buy food that I may not get around to eating. It's a waste of food and money. Having simple recipes (with few additional ingredients)--with at least one of those recopies using up multiple different veggies from the CSA box--would probably help people like me. I know if I had such a recipe, I would be far more likely to take the time and brain power to try something.

Lack of time and brain power are a big hindrance, I think, to trying new things. People are busy, and it takes time and focus/brain power to learn to cook something new, even if you have a recipe. By brain power, I mean having the time/ability to focus on doing something new. For instance, I have a toddler. My life is hectic. I'm usually juggling 15 things at once, and if I try something new, I'm likely to destroy it when I get distracted by having to watch my child, clean the kitchen, and cook the other food for dinner. It's much easier to grab a bag of frozen peas that I know my toddler will eat and steam them in a way I know he'll eat them, rather than trying to impart brain power and time to figuring out how in the world to make radishes and squashes edible (and then have to cook the peas anyway, because my toddler wouldn't eat the radishes and still needs more food). I'm also far less likely to destroy the peas, since I've made them so many times before, than I am to ruin the radishes.


Wasted Food: aka, Why This Farmer Hated CSA

  • 5

I used to grow and distribute vegetables by the CSA model. I hated it because of all the wasted food. And I'm not talking about throwing away the stems of tomatoes, or the skins of onions. I'm talking about wholesale waste of just about everything in the basket. I would feel offended if someone thought that they had to to eat the leaves of the carrots, but it seemed way disrespectful to me to let just about everything in the box rot away. At least have the decency to hide the box before the farmer shows up next week!

I had some people that would make salads, soups, stir-fries, or casseroles and use up every bit of food that I gave them and would be wishing for more before next week. They made the CSA model a joy. But they were only around 10% of the people I grew for. And it's not like I was providing lots of unusual fruits and vegetables that nobody had ever seen before. A zucchini is a zucchini even if it has stripes on it rather than being only green.

So welcome Linda! Looking forward to read what you have to write.

One thing I have noticed about eating what I grow, when I grow it, is that the foods that the corporate processed food industry puts together may not mature at the same time in my garden. So "traditional" food combinations might not be available when eating from a CSA. I'm sure that varies by climate and growing conditions. Linda, can you give us any ideas about what combinations go well together?

Here's some examples of what my baskets looked like:

June 22nd, 2011: Early spring greens. Spinach, lettuce, garlic and onion scallions, radishes, turnips, bok choi. Barely enough here to feed a rabbit.

July 25th 2012: Root crops and summer squash. Most of the green leafy things are long gone. Garlic, carrots, beets with greens, onions, onion scallions, summer squash, sweet pepper, and apricots.

August 17th, 2011: Finally some tomatoes. Summer squash, sweet corn, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, apricots, sweet pepper, green beans.

September 15th, 2010: Start of the winter storage vegetables. Winding down on highly perishable things. Winter squash, summer squash, watermelon, muskmelon, decorative pumpkin, cabbage kohlrabi, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, sweet corn, and green beans. Volume is way high!

October 19th, 2011: Last ditch gleaning efforts. Lots of things that can be stored for winter. Dry beans, wheat, apples, plums, tomatoes, beets, broccoli, cucumbers, sunroots, carrots, turnips, cabbage, and onion scallions.

  • 2

"Just outside our field of vision sits the unknown, calmly licking its chops."

  • 1

  • 6

Hans Albert Quistorff, LMT Hans Massage Qberry Farm
magnet therapy
gmail hquistorff

  • 4

First, let me say those baskets have me thinking of all sorts of delicious things I could make!

Second is more on topic. I would think one way to battle this might be including a piece of paper. Something that listed every item (and possibly a short description) in the current basket along with cooking suggestions (links to the recipes instead of having them on the paper to save space and paper) specific to that basket. The list would make it easier for people to recognize what they have and the suggestions would perhaps inspire them to use things they are less familiar with.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

  • 2

I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

You either eat it by itself, or you combine it with other foods. If it's raw, then it's either eat it out of hand, or put it in a salad.

If you're cooking food, the options are frying, boiling, or baking, either by itself or combined with other ingredients. That takes care of side-dishes, soups, casseroles, breads, and stir-fries.

Those few options pretty much cover every food that might show up in a CSA basket. Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

  • 1

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

Funny! Maybe you will be lucky and they will ask you how best to eat that particular variety of tomato.

A while back I stumbled across a CSA website that was full of recipes, featuring what was currently on offer. It seemed like a great idea, and if customers were able to submit their veg recipes, it might help inspire other customers?

  • 2

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


hee hee. As far as I'm concerned, cooking sure makes Romaine more palatable. Especially with extra bacon grease.

  • 5

Joseph Lofthouse wrote: I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it.

For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

I have dozens of recipes for the zucchini I mentioned earlier. Desserts, sides, entrees, breakfasts and even a drink. Doing an impromptu poll of people I know, only one knew anything to do with a zucchini aside from zucchini bread. The one that did, only knew of ratatouille and fried zucchini. That is a serious issue to me, considering how productive one plant can be in a garden. Endless meals and all they know how to make is a sweet bread that uses a cup or two at most per batch. This is why I would think that simple dishes using mostly ingredients found in the basket and items found in the typical household (milk, butter, seasonings, etc). I figure that anyone who joins a CSA is at least able to do recipes even if they can't improv.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

Hans Quistorff wrote: What I find frustrating is when my wife buys produce at the store because she looks in the refrigerator instead of out the window before she goes shopping.

I had this happen to me for the first time last year. We mostly cook and shop separately (she's cooking for her mother and there's little overlap with my plant-based diet) and it took some repetition before she learned to ask me for cilantro and jalepenos and tomatoes and cukes and green onions that I had just hanging out in the garden. But once my tomatoes really started producing, she got enthusiastic about them she's got better color vision than me and would look out the window going "you missed some!" after I came in with the day's haul.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

Abundance makes for laziness scarcity makes for thriftiness and people learn how to preserve food for later. In addition to fermenting, there is freezing (also mentioned above), pickling, salting, and drying.

I'm sure if these CSA subscribers didn't know where their next meal was coming from, every single bit of food would be used, in the manner of hunter-gatherers who had few times of feast punctuated by longer times of near-famine.

Maybe what is needed is a recipe insert with the food basket on how to make your own pickles, sauerkraut, salsas, sauces that can be frozen, and the like, tailored for the particular abundance of the season. That goes against the grain of our consumer oriented society, but so does the whole concept of CSA.

  • 2

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

I can't tell you how often I get the "What do you with that?" question from cashiers at Walmart who just got stumped trying to look up my produce item on their little cheat sheet of product codes. And if I found them at Walmart, they're not exotic vegetables!

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 1

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


It was in Houston, in a not-yet-gentrified grocery where you could be a frozen whole pigs head. She was probably thinking it was weird collard greens.
Reason #461 why I don't live there anymore.

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

  • 3

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables.

I'm not a farmer, but I find myself in sympathy with this. All the advice on handing out recipes along with the produce is probably smart from a marketing and entrepreneurial perspective, but if I were a farmer I think I'd find the necessity quite frustrating. Do the people who make pants have to hand out brochures with their product that tell you how to put pants on? No, they do not. Do the people who make beer have to, et cetera? No. If we live in a society where people have forgotten how to eat any food that isn't processed to a fare-thee-well and presented in plastic and cardboard, I think it's fair for people who make real food to feel grumpy about that fact.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 2

D. Logan wrote:
For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

This is so very true. I was lucky that my mom actually cooked from scratch, rather than just using canned food, restaurants, and microwavable dinners. But, even still, we ate few vegetables, and only prepared a few ways. We ate green beans only when they grew in the garden. We ate broccoli and cauliflower either dipped in ranch dressing, or steamed with cheese on them. The only salads we had were iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. We never had cooked carrots--they were always raw. And, we had stirfry, and I don't even know what veggies were in there except the zucchini that I hated.

Those were the only veggies I ever ate: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, green beans and tomatoes. And, potatoes, too (baked or mashed). I consider myself lucky that I ate as many vegetable as I did, and know one way to prepare them. My husband--and many, many more like him--had NO idea how to prepare, store, or eat vegetables. When I met my husband, he was 25 and didn't even know how to store carrots. I opened his silverware drawer and found wilted carrots! He thought that would be a good place to store them! He didn't even know spinach was a leaf--he just thought it was mush that came from a can!

People like my husband--and myself--are far more prevalent than you might think. We've both learned how to cook and eat far more food, but I still have to search the Internet to figure out what spices and foods complement which vegetables, and what is the most appetizing way to prepare them. My husband, when encountering a new food usually just eats it raw. and wonders why it's not that yummy.

Needless to say, we've never joined a CSA, because I did not want to waste resources on food that we wouldn't have time to figure out how to store &/or cook, and so would go to waste. Just like we don't plant food that we won't eat, I don't want to buy food that I may not get around to eating. It's a waste of food and money. Having simple recipes (with few additional ingredients)--with at least one of those recopies using up multiple different veggies from the CSA box--would probably help people like me. I know if I had such a recipe, I would be far more likely to take the time and brain power to try something.

Lack of time and brain power are a big hindrance, I think, to trying new things. People are busy, and it takes time and focus/brain power to learn to cook something new, even if you have a recipe. By brain power, I mean having the time/ability to focus on doing something new. For instance, I have a toddler. My life is hectic. I'm usually juggling 15 things at once, and if I try something new, I'm likely to destroy it when I get distracted by having to watch my child, clean the kitchen, and cook the other food for dinner. It's much easier to grab a bag of frozen peas that I know my toddler will eat and steam them in a way I know he'll eat them, rather than trying to impart brain power and time to figuring out how in the world to make radishes and squashes edible (and then have to cook the peas anyway, because my toddler wouldn't eat the radishes and still needs more food). I'm also far less likely to destroy the peas, since I've made them so many times before, than I am to ruin the radishes.


Wasted Food: aka, Why This Farmer Hated CSA

  • 5

I used to grow and distribute vegetables by the CSA model. I hated it because of all the wasted food. And I'm not talking about throwing away the stems of tomatoes, or the skins of onions. I'm talking about wholesale waste of just about everything in the basket. I would feel offended if someone thought that they had to to eat the leaves of the carrots, but it seemed way disrespectful to me to let just about everything in the box rot away. At least have the decency to hide the box before the farmer shows up next week!

I had some people that would make salads, soups, stir-fries, or casseroles and use up every bit of food that I gave them and would be wishing for more before next week. They made the CSA model a joy. But they were only around 10% of the people I grew for. And it's not like I was providing lots of unusual fruits and vegetables that nobody had ever seen before. A zucchini is a zucchini even if it has stripes on it rather than being only green.

So welcome Linda! Looking forward to read what you have to write.

One thing I have noticed about eating what I grow, when I grow it, is that the foods that the corporate processed food industry puts together may not mature at the same time in my garden. So "traditional" food combinations might not be available when eating from a CSA. I'm sure that varies by climate and growing conditions. Linda, can you give us any ideas about what combinations go well together?

Here's some examples of what my baskets looked like:

June 22nd, 2011: Early spring greens. Spinach, lettuce, garlic and onion scallions, radishes, turnips, bok choi. Barely enough here to feed a rabbit.

July 25th 2012: Root crops and summer squash. Most of the green leafy things are long gone. Garlic, carrots, beets with greens, onions, onion scallions, summer squash, sweet pepper, and apricots.

August 17th, 2011: Finally some tomatoes. Summer squash, sweet corn, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, apricots, sweet pepper, green beans.

September 15th, 2010: Start of the winter storage vegetables. Winding down on highly perishable things. Winter squash, summer squash, watermelon, muskmelon, decorative pumpkin, cabbage kohlrabi, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, sweet corn, and green beans. Volume is way high!

October 19th, 2011: Last ditch gleaning efforts. Lots of things that can be stored for winter. Dry beans, wheat, apples, plums, tomatoes, beets, broccoli, cucumbers, sunroots, carrots, turnips, cabbage, and onion scallions.

  • 2

"Just outside our field of vision sits the unknown, calmly licking its chops."

  • 1

  • 6

Hans Albert Quistorff, LMT Hans Massage Qberry Farm
magnet therapy
gmail hquistorff

  • 4

First, let me say those baskets have me thinking of all sorts of delicious things I could make!

Second is more on topic. I would think one way to battle this might be including a piece of paper. Something that listed every item (and possibly a short description) in the current basket along with cooking suggestions (links to the recipes instead of having them on the paper to save space and paper) specific to that basket. The list would make it easier for people to recognize what they have and the suggestions would perhaps inspire them to use things they are less familiar with.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

  • 2

I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

You either eat it by itself, or you combine it with other foods. If it's raw, then it's either eat it out of hand, or put it in a salad.

If you're cooking food, the options are frying, boiling, or baking, either by itself or combined with other ingredients. That takes care of side-dishes, soups, casseroles, breads, and stir-fries.

Those few options pretty much cover every food that might show up in a CSA basket. Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

  • 1

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

Funny! Maybe you will be lucky and they will ask you how best to eat that particular variety of tomato.

A while back I stumbled across a CSA website that was full of recipes, featuring what was currently on offer. It seemed like a great idea, and if customers were able to submit their veg recipes, it might help inspire other customers?

  • 2

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


hee hee. As far as I'm concerned, cooking sure makes Romaine more palatable. Especially with extra bacon grease.

  • 5

Joseph Lofthouse wrote: I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it.

For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

I have dozens of recipes for the zucchini I mentioned earlier. Desserts, sides, entrees, breakfasts and even a drink. Doing an impromptu poll of people I know, only one knew anything to do with a zucchini aside from zucchini bread. The one that did, only knew of ratatouille and fried zucchini. That is a serious issue to me, considering how productive one plant can be in a garden. Endless meals and all they know how to make is a sweet bread that uses a cup or two at most per batch. This is why I would think that simple dishes using mostly ingredients found in the basket and items found in the typical household (milk, butter, seasonings, etc). I figure that anyone who joins a CSA is at least able to do recipes even if they can't improv.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

Hans Quistorff wrote: What I find frustrating is when my wife buys produce at the store because she looks in the refrigerator instead of out the window before she goes shopping.

I had this happen to me for the first time last year. We mostly cook and shop separately (she's cooking for her mother and there's little overlap with my plant-based diet) and it took some repetition before she learned to ask me for cilantro and jalepenos and tomatoes and cukes and green onions that I had just hanging out in the garden. But once my tomatoes really started producing, she got enthusiastic about them she's got better color vision than me and would look out the window going "you missed some!" after I came in with the day's haul.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

Abundance makes for laziness scarcity makes for thriftiness and people learn how to preserve food for later. In addition to fermenting, there is freezing (also mentioned above), pickling, salting, and drying.

I'm sure if these CSA subscribers didn't know where their next meal was coming from, every single bit of food would be used, in the manner of hunter-gatherers who had few times of feast punctuated by longer times of near-famine.

Maybe what is needed is a recipe insert with the food basket on how to make your own pickles, sauerkraut, salsas, sauces that can be frozen, and the like, tailored for the particular abundance of the season. That goes against the grain of our consumer oriented society, but so does the whole concept of CSA.

  • 2

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

I can't tell you how often I get the "What do you with that?" question from cashiers at Walmart who just got stumped trying to look up my produce item on their little cheat sheet of product codes. And if I found them at Walmart, they're not exotic vegetables!

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 1

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


It was in Houston, in a not-yet-gentrified grocery where you could be a frozen whole pigs head. She was probably thinking it was weird collard greens.
Reason #461 why I don't live there anymore.

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

  • 3

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables.

I'm not a farmer, but I find myself in sympathy with this. All the advice on handing out recipes along with the produce is probably smart from a marketing and entrepreneurial perspective, but if I were a farmer I think I'd find the necessity quite frustrating. Do the people who make pants have to hand out brochures with their product that tell you how to put pants on? No, they do not. Do the people who make beer have to, et cetera? No. If we live in a society where people have forgotten how to eat any food that isn't processed to a fare-thee-well and presented in plastic and cardboard, I think it's fair for people who make real food to feel grumpy about that fact.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 2

D. Logan wrote:
For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

This is so very true. I was lucky that my mom actually cooked from scratch, rather than just using canned food, restaurants, and microwavable dinners. But, even still, we ate few vegetables, and only prepared a few ways. We ate green beans only when they grew in the garden. We ate broccoli and cauliflower either dipped in ranch dressing, or steamed with cheese on them. The only salads we had were iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. We never had cooked carrots--they were always raw. And, we had stirfry, and I don't even know what veggies were in there except the zucchini that I hated.

Those were the only veggies I ever ate: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, green beans and tomatoes. And, potatoes, too (baked or mashed). I consider myself lucky that I ate as many vegetable as I did, and know one way to prepare them. My husband--and many, many more like him--had NO idea how to prepare, store, or eat vegetables. When I met my husband, he was 25 and didn't even know how to store carrots. I opened his silverware drawer and found wilted carrots! He thought that would be a good place to store them! He didn't even know spinach was a leaf--he just thought it was mush that came from a can!

People like my husband--and myself--are far more prevalent than you might think. We've both learned how to cook and eat far more food, but I still have to search the Internet to figure out what spices and foods complement which vegetables, and what is the most appetizing way to prepare them. My husband, when encountering a new food usually just eats it raw. and wonders why it's not that yummy.

Needless to say, we've never joined a CSA, because I did not want to waste resources on food that we wouldn't have time to figure out how to store &/or cook, and so would go to waste. Just like we don't plant food that we won't eat, I don't want to buy food that I may not get around to eating. It's a waste of food and money. Having simple recipes (with few additional ingredients)--with at least one of those recopies using up multiple different veggies from the CSA box--would probably help people like me. I know if I had such a recipe, I would be far more likely to take the time and brain power to try something.

Lack of time and brain power are a big hindrance, I think, to trying new things. People are busy, and it takes time and focus/brain power to learn to cook something new, even if you have a recipe. By brain power, I mean having the time/ability to focus on doing something new. For instance, I have a toddler. My life is hectic. I'm usually juggling 15 things at once, and if I try something new, I'm likely to destroy it when I get distracted by having to watch my child, clean the kitchen, and cook the other food for dinner. It's much easier to grab a bag of frozen peas that I know my toddler will eat and steam them in a way I know he'll eat them, rather than trying to impart brain power and time to figuring out how in the world to make radishes and squashes edible (and then have to cook the peas anyway, because my toddler wouldn't eat the radishes and still needs more food). I'm also far less likely to destroy the peas, since I've made them so many times before, than I am to ruin the radishes.


Wasted Food: aka, Why This Farmer Hated CSA

  • 5

I used to grow and distribute vegetables by the CSA model. I hated it because of all the wasted food. And I'm not talking about throwing away the stems of tomatoes, or the skins of onions. I'm talking about wholesale waste of just about everything in the basket. I would feel offended if someone thought that they had to to eat the leaves of the carrots, but it seemed way disrespectful to me to let just about everything in the box rot away. At least have the decency to hide the box before the farmer shows up next week!

I had some people that would make salads, soups, stir-fries, or casseroles and use up every bit of food that I gave them and would be wishing for more before next week. They made the CSA model a joy. But they were only around 10% of the people I grew for. And it's not like I was providing lots of unusual fruits and vegetables that nobody had ever seen before. A zucchini is a zucchini even if it has stripes on it rather than being only green.

So welcome Linda! Looking forward to read what you have to write.

One thing I have noticed about eating what I grow, when I grow it, is that the foods that the corporate processed food industry puts together may not mature at the same time in my garden. So "traditional" food combinations might not be available when eating from a CSA. I'm sure that varies by climate and growing conditions. Linda, can you give us any ideas about what combinations go well together?

Here's some examples of what my baskets looked like:

June 22nd, 2011: Early spring greens. Spinach, lettuce, garlic and onion scallions, radishes, turnips, bok choi. Barely enough here to feed a rabbit.

July 25th 2012: Root crops and summer squash. Most of the green leafy things are long gone. Garlic, carrots, beets with greens, onions, onion scallions, summer squash, sweet pepper, and apricots.

August 17th, 2011: Finally some tomatoes. Summer squash, sweet corn, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, apricots, sweet pepper, green beans.

September 15th, 2010: Start of the winter storage vegetables. Winding down on highly perishable things. Winter squash, summer squash, watermelon, muskmelon, decorative pumpkin, cabbage kohlrabi, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, sweet corn, and green beans. Volume is way high!

October 19th, 2011: Last ditch gleaning efforts. Lots of things that can be stored for winter. Dry beans, wheat, apples, plums, tomatoes, beets, broccoli, cucumbers, sunroots, carrots, turnips, cabbage, and onion scallions.

  • 2

"Just outside our field of vision sits the unknown, calmly licking its chops."

  • 1

  • 6

Hans Albert Quistorff, LMT Hans Massage Qberry Farm
magnet therapy
gmail hquistorff

  • 4

First, let me say those baskets have me thinking of all sorts of delicious things I could make!

Second is more on topic. I would think one way to battle this might be including a piece of paper. Something that listed every item (and possibly a short description) in the current basket along with cooking suggestions (links to the recipes instead of having them on the paper to save space and paper) specific to that basket. The list would make it easier for people to recognize what they have and the suggestions would perhaps inspire them to use things they are less familiar with.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

  • 2

I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

You either eat it by itself, or you combine it with other foods. If it's raw, then it's either eat it out of hand, or put it in a salad.

If you're cooking food, the options are frying, boiling, or baking, either by itself or combined with other ingredients. That takes care of side-dishes, soups, casseroles, breads, and stir-fries.

Those few options pretty much cover every food that might show up in a CSA basket. Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

  • 1

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

Funny! Maybe you will be lucky and they will ask you how best to eat that particular variety of tomato.

A while back I stumbled across a CSA website that was full of recipes, featuring what was currently on offer. It seemed like a great idea, and if customers were able to submit their veg recipes, it might help inspire other customers?

  • 2

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


hee hee. As far as I'm concerned, cooking sure makes Romaine more palatable. Especially with extra bacon grease.

  • 5

Joseph Lofthouse wrote: I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it.

For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

I have dozens of recipes for the zucchini I mentioned earlier. Desserts, sides, entrees, breakfasts and even a drink. Doing an impromptu poll of people I know, only one knew anything to do with a zucchini aside from zucchini bread. The one that did, only knew of ratatouille and fried zucchini. That is a serious issue to me, considering how productive one plant can be in a garden. Endless meals and all they know how to make is a sweet bread that uses a cup or two at most per batch. This is why I would think that simple dishes using mostly ingredients found in the basket and items found in the typical household (milk, butter, seasonings, etc). I figure that anyone who joins a CSA is at least able to do recipes even if they can't improv.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

Hans Quistorff wrote: What I find frustrating is when my wife buys produce at the store because she looks in the refrigerator instead of out the window before she goes shopping.

I had this happen to me for the first time last year. We mostly cook and shop separately (she's cooking for her mother and there's little overlap with my plant-based diet) and it took some repetition before she learned to ask me for cilantro and jalepenos and tomatoes and cukes and green onions that I had just hanging out in the garden. But once my tomatoes really started producing, she got enthusiastic about them she's got better color vision than me and would look out the window going "you missed some!" after I came in with the day's haul.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

Abundance makes for laziness scarcity makes for thriftiness and people learn how to preserve food for later. In addition to fermenting, there is freezing (also mentioned above), pickling, salting, and drying.

I'm sure if these CSA subscribers didn't know where their next meal was coming from, every single bit of food would be used, in the manner of hunter-gatherers who had few times of feast punctuated by longer times of near-famine.

Maybe what is needed is a recipe insert with the food basket on how to make your own pickles, sauerkraut, salsas, sauces that can be frozen, and the like, tailored for the particular abundance of the season. That goes against the grain of our consumer oriented society, but so does the whole concept of CSA.

  • 2

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

I can't tell you how often I get the "What do you with that?" question from cashiers at Walmart who just got stumped trying to look up my produce item on their little cheat sheet of product codes. And if I found them at Walmart, they're not exotic vegetables!

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 1

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


It was in Houston, in a not-yet-gentrified grocery where you could be a frozen whole pigs head. She was probably thinking it was weird collard greens.
Reason #461 why I don't live there anymore.

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

  • 3

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables.

I'm not a farmer, but I find myself in sympathy with this. All the advice on handing out recipes along with the produce is probably smart from a marketing and entrepreneurial perspective, but if I were a farmer I think I'd find the necessity quite frustrating. Do the people who make pants have to hand out brochures with their product that tell you how to put pants on? No, they do not. Do the people who make beer have to, et cetera? No. If we live in a society where people have forgotten how to eat any food that isn't processed to a fare-thee-well and presented in plastic and cardboard, I think it's fair for people who make real food to feel grumpy about that fact.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 2

D. Logan wrote:
For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

This is so very true. I was lucky that my mom actually cooked from scratch, rather than just using canned food, restaurants, and microwavable dinners. But, even still, we ate few vegetables, and only prepared a few ways. We ate green beans only when they grew in the garden. We ate broccoli and cauliflower either dipped in ranch dressing, or steamed with cheese on them. The only salads we had were iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. We never had cooked carrots--they were always raw. And, we had stirfry, and I don't even know what veggies were in there except the zucchini that I hated.

Those were the only veggies I ever ate: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, green beans and tomatoes. And, potatoes, too (baked or mashed). I consider myself lucky that I ate as many vegetable as I did, and know one way to prepare them. My husband--and many, many more like him--had NO idea how to prepare, store, or eat vegetables. When I met my husband, he was 25 and didn't even know how to store carrots. I opened his silverware drawer and found wilted carrots! He thought that would be a good place to store them! He didn't even know spinach was a leaf--he just thought it was mush that came from a can!

People like my husband--and myself--are far more prevalent than you might think. We've both learned how to cook and eat far more food, but I still have to search the Internet to figure out what spices and foods complement which vegetables, and what is the most appetizing way to prepare them. My husband, when encountering a new food usually just eats it raw. and wonders why it's not that yummy.

Needless to say, we've never joined a CSA, because I did not want to waste resources on food that we wouldn't have time to figure out how to store &/or cook, and so would go to waste. Just like we don't plant food that we won't eat, I don't want to buy food that I may not get around to eating. It's a waste of food and money. Having simple recipes (with few additional ingredients)--with at least one of those recopies using up multiple different veggies from the CSA box--would probably help people like me. I know if I had such a recipe, I would be far more likely to take the time and brain power to try something.

Lack of time and brain power are a big hindrance, I think, to trying new things. People are busy, and it takes time and focus/brain power to learn to cook something new, even if you have a recipe. By brain power, I mean having the time/ability to focus on doing something new. For instance, I have a toddler. My life is hectic. I'm usually juggling 15 things at once, and if I try something new, I'm likely to destroy it when I get distracted by having to watch my child, clean the kitchen, and cook the other food for dinner. It's much easier to grab a bag of frozen peas that I know my toddler will eat and steam them in a way I know he'll eat them, rather than trying to impart brain power and time to figuring out how in the world to make radishes and squashes edible (and then have to cook the peas anyway, because my toddler wouldn't eat the radishes and still needs more food). I'm also far less likely to destroy the peas, since I've made them so many times before, than I am to ruin the radishes.


Wasted Food: aka, Why This Farmer Hated CSA

  • 5

I used to grow and distribute vegetables by the CSA model. I hated it because of all the wasted food. And I'm not talking about throwing away the stems of tomatoes, or the skins of onions. I'm talking about wholesale waste of just about everything in the basket. I would feel offended if someone thought that they had to to eat the leaves of the carrots, but it seemed way disrespectful to me to let just about everything in the box rot away. At least have the decency to hide the box before the farmer shows up next week!

I had some people that would make salads, soups, stir-fries, or casseroles and use up every bit of food that I gave them and would be wishing for more before next week. They made the CSA model a joy. But they were only around 10% of the people I grew for. And it's not like I was providing lots of unusual fruits and vegetables that nobody had ever seen before. A zucchini is a zucchini even if it has stripes on it rather than being only green.

So welcome Linda! Looking forward to read what you have to write.

One thing I have noticed about eating what I grow, when I grow it, is that the foods that the corporate processed food industry puts together may not mature at the same time in my garden. So "traditional" food combinations might not be available when eating from a CSA. I'm sure that varies by climate and growing conditions. Linda, can you give us any ideas about what combinations go well together?

Here's some examples of what my baskets looked like:

June 22nd, 2011: Early spring greens. Spinach, lettuce, garlic and onion scallions, radishes, turnips, bok choi. Barely enough here to feed a rabbit.

July 25th 2012: Root crops and summer squash. Most of the green leafy things are long gone. Garlic, carrots, beets with greens, onions, onion scallions, summer squash, sweet pepper, and apricots.

August 17th, 2011: Finally some tomatoes. Summer squash, sweet corn, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, apricots, sweet pepper, green beans.

September 15th, 2010: Start of the winter storage vegetables. Winding down on highly perishable things. Winter squash, summer squash, watermelon, muskmelon, decorative pumpkin, cabbage kohlrabi, eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, sweet corn, and green beans. Volume is way high!

October 19th, 2011: Last ditch gleaning efforts. Lots of things that can be stored for winter. Dry beans, wheat, apples, plums, tomatoes, beets, broccoli, cucumbers, sunroots, carrots, turnips, cabbage, and onion scallions.

  • 2

"Just outside our field of vision sits the unknown, calmly licking its chops."

  • 1

  • 6

Hans Albert Quistorff, LMT Hans Massage Qberry Farm
magnet therapy
gmail hquistorff

  • 4

First, let me say those baskets have me thinking of all sorts of delicious things I could make!

Second is more on topic. I would think one way to battle this might be including a piece of paper. Something that listed every item (and possibly a short description) in the current basket along with cooking suggestions (links to the recipes instead of having them on the paper to save space and paper) specific to that basket. The list would make it easier for people to recognize what they have and the suggestions would perhaps inspire them to use things they are less familiar with.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

  • 2

I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

You either eat it by itself, or you combine it with other foods. If it's raw, then it's either eat it out of hand, or put it in a salad.

If you're cooking food, the options are frying, boiling, or baking, either by itself or combined with other ingredients. That takes care of side-dishes, soups, casseroles, breads, and stir-fries.

Those few options pretty much cover every food that might show up in a CSA basket. Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

  • 1

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Just watch. Next time I go to the farmer's market, someone will ask me how to eat a tomato.

Funny! Maybe you will be lucky and they will ask you how best to eat that particular variety of tomato.

A while back I stumbled across a CSA website that was full of recipes, featuring what was currently on offer. It seemed like a great idea, and if customers were able to submit their veg recipes, it might help inspire other customers?

  • 2

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


hee hee. As far as I'm concerned, cooking sure makes Romaine more palatable. Especially with extra bacon grease.

  • 5

Joseph Lofthouse wrote: I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables. Eating food ain't that hard. Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it.

For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

I have dozens of recipes for the zucchini I mentioned earlier. Desserts, sides, entrees, breakfasts and even a drink. Doing an impromptu poll of people I know, only one knew anything to do with a zucchini aside from zucchini bread. The one that did, only knew of ratatouille and fried zucchini. That is a serious issue to me, considering how productive one plant can be in a garden. Endless meals and all they know how to make is a sweet bread that uses a cup or two at most per batch. This is why I would think that simple dishes using mostly ingredients found in the basket and items found in the typical household (milk, butter, seasonings, etc). I figure that anyone who joins a CSA is at least able to do recipes even if they can't improv.

Outdoor and Ecological articles (sporadic Mondays) at http://blog.dxlogan.com/ and my main site is found at http://www.dxlogan.com/

Hans Quistorff wrote: What I find frustrating is when my wife buys produce at the store because she looks in the refrigerator instead of out the window before she goes shopping.

I had this happen to me for the first time last year. We mostly cook and shop separately (she's cooking for her mother and there's little overlap with my plant-based diet) and it took some repetition before she learned to ask me for cilantro and jalepenos and tomatoes and cukes and green onions that I had just hanging out in the garden. But once my tomatoes really started producing, she got enthusiastic about them she's got better color vision than me and would look out the window going "you missed some!" after I came in with the day's haul.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Either you eat it raw, you cook it, or you ferment it. Hardly anybody would dare ferment food any more, so that leaves us with eating it raw or cooking.

Abundance makes for laziness scarcity makes for thriftiness and people learn how to preserve food for later. In addition to fermenting, there is freezing (also mentioned above), pickling, salting, and drying.

I'm sure if these CSA subscribers didn't know where their next meal was coming from, every single bit of food would be used, in the manner of hunter-gatherers who had few times of feast punctuated by longer times of near-famine.

Maybe what is needed is a recipe insert with the food basket on how to make your own pickles, sauerkraut, salsas, sauces that can be frozen, and the like, tailored for the particular abundance of the season. That goes against the grain of our consumer oriented society, but so does the whole concept of CSA.

  • 2

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

I can't tell you how often I get the "What do you with that?" question from cashiers at Walmart who just got stumped trying to look up my produce item on their little cheat sheet of product codes. And if I found them at Walmart, they're not exotic vegetables!

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 1

Ann Torrence wrote: I once had a lady in a grocery store ask me whether I was going to cook my romaine lettuce.

There are about 30,000 pages on Google for "Wilted Lettuce Salad With Bacon Grease"


It was in Houston, in a not-yet-gentrified grocery where you could be a frozen whole pigs head. She was probably thinking it was weird collard greens.
Reason #461 why I don't live there anymore.

Blogging about homesteading, photography and living in a small Utah town | Growing mostly cider apples at Stray Arrow Ranch

  • 3

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I get wore out from telling people how to cook common ordinary vegetables.

I'm not a farmer, but I find myself in sympathy with this. All the advice on handing out recipes along with the produce is probably smart from a marketing and entrepreneurial perspective, but if I were a farmer I think I'd find the necessity quite frustrating. Do the people who make pants have to hand out brochures with their product that tell you how to put pants on? No, they do not. Do the people who make beer have to, et cetera? No. If we live in a society where people have forgotten how to eat any food that isn't processed to a fare-thee-well and presented in plastic and cardboard, I think it's fair for people who make real food to feel grumpy about that fact.

Pecan Media: food forestry and forest garden ebooks
Now available: The Native Persimmon (centennial edition)

  • 2

D. Logan wrote:
For those of us who grew up with cooking, it seems very strange that people wouldn't be able to cook the ordinary. Sure, not everyone would know what to do with Kohlrabi, but a zucchini? One of the things I have come to discover about the majority of people I grew up with (let alone their kids) is that vast majority of them have no idea how to cook anything. If it is harder than boiling pasta or punching buttons on a microwave, it intimidates them. Even those who do cook, generally seem to feel like they can only cook if they have all of the ingredients for a specific recipe. The thought of just throwing things together on the fly is foreign to them.

It's all to easy to look down my nose and consider them lazy or less than intelligent. In reality, many of them are just lacking in the experience that it takes to have confidence in their cooking. They are afraid of mistakes or things not tasting amazing. Saying they can't cook becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. They won't cook for fear of making mistakes. When they do cook, they get so caught up in the idea that they will fail that they do. Some manage to get around it by always following a recipe to the letter. Most seem to just get around it by eating out a lot and getting pre-made meals to heat in the oven or microwave.

This is so very true. I was lucky that my mom actually cooked from scratch, rather than just using canned food, restaurants, and microwavable dinners. But, even still, we ate few vegetables, and only prepared a few ways. We ate green beans only when they grew in the garden. We ate broccoli and cauliflower either dipped in ranch dressing, or steamed with cheese on them. The only salads we had were iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. We never had cooked carrots--they were always raw. And, we had stirfry, and I don't even know what veggies were in there except the zucchini that I hated.

Those were the only veggies I ever ate: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, green beans and tomatoes. And, potatoes, too (baked or mashed). I consider myself lucky that I ate as many vegetable as I did, and know one way to prepare them. My husband--and many, many more like him--had NO idea how to prepare, store, or eat vegetables. When I met my husband, he was 25 and didn't even know how to store carrots. I opened his silverware drawer and found wilted carrots! He thought that would be a good place to store them! He didn't even know spinach was a leaf--he just thought it was mush that came from a can!

People like my husband--and myself--are far more prevalent than you might think. We've both learned how to cook and eat far more food, but I still have to search the Internet to figure out what spices and foods complement which vegetables, and what is the most appetizing way to prepare them. My husband, when encountering a new food usually just eats it raw. and wonders why it's not that yummy.

Needless to say, we've never joined a CSA, because I did not want to waste resources on food that we wouldn't have time to figure out how to store &/or cook, and so would go to waste. Just like we don't plant food that we won't eat, I don't want to buy food that I may not get around to eating. It's a waste of food and money. Having simple recipes (with few additional ingredients)--with at least one of those recopies using up multiple different veggies from the CSA box--would probably help people like me. I know if I had such a recipe, I would be far more likely to take the time and brain power to try something.

Lack of time and brain power are a big hindrance, I think, to trying new things. People are busy, and it takes time and focus/brain power to learn to cook something new, even if you have a recipe. By brain power, I mean having the time/ability to focus on doing something new. For instance, I have a toddler. My life is hectic. I'm usually juggling 15 things at once, and if I try something new, I'm likely to destroy it when I get distracted by having to watch my child, clean the kitchen, and cook the other food for dinner. It's much easier to grab a bag of frozen peas that I know my toddler will eat and steam them in a way I know he'll eat them, rather than trying to impart brain power and time to figuring out how in the world to make radishes and squashes edible (and then have to cook the peas anyway, because my toddler wouldn't eat the radishes and still needs more food). I'm also far less likely to destroy the peas, since I've made them so many times before, than I am to ruin the radishes.



Comments:

  1. Eman

    Well done, this very good idea is just about

  2. Kurihi

    Here and so it is too :)

  3. Garwyn

    I mean, you allow the mistake. Enter we'll discuss. Write to me in PM.

  4. Gamble

    Interesting. And most importantly, unusual.



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