When I tell Teena Borek that one of the challenges I faced when I participated in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) was preparing all the food in each weekly share before it perished, she enthusiastically tells me about her latest discovery.
"Every CSA member should have a juicer," she says. Borek recently bought one at the suggestion of one of her CSA's members and has been juicing beets, greens and other vegetables. "You can juice everything that's left at the end of the week."
Borek has been farming for thirty years and is known for her delicious heirloom tomatoes, yet her farm's CSA is relatively new.
CSA programs allow people to buy shares of a farm's crops before they are planted. By paying upfront, members help cover the farm's costs of growing and harvesting the produce that they will receive each week during the season. Members also share the risks with the farm. So if a freeze or pest damages a crop, the shareholders, like the farm, lose.
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Teena and her son, Michael, who now runs the day-to-day operations of the farm, started their CSA program two seasons ago. Ninety people signed up. Last year, membership grew to 150. For Michael, says Borek, it was a way of getting the farm's produce directly to families without going through a middleman.
Typical shares always include Teena's Pride tomatoes and arugula, plus whatever other vegetables are harvested that week. That could include items like beets, radishes, broccoli rabe, eggplant and herbs. The Boreks also hosts a monthly open house where CSA members visit the farm for cooking demos, tomato taste testing and to get to know their growers.
Teena's Pride is now taking sign-ups for next season, which runs from November through April. People can choose from a full share (feeds four), a half share (feeds two or three) or a gourmet share, which is intended for one person. A half share costs $600 for 24 weeks, which amounts to $25 per week. It's really not a bad price to pay for produce grown so close to home.
Sign up and see available pick-up locations at teenaspridecsa.com.