Fruits and Vegetables

Farm Fresh To You

It’s been a month since I started the Farm Fresh to You subscription and I love it. I love the delivery system. I get a box on my doorstep every Tuesday–no driving for me! Also, the weekly box has done exactly what I hoped it would. I’m forced to use vegetables and fruits in a timely manner and cook outside my comfort zone. I don’t understand why this works, because buying fruits and vegetables from a CSA is the same as buying fruits and vegetables from the supermarket. I will never understand why I’m determined to save food one way but not the other.

A few things about joining a CSA or a produce co-op, since I’ve done both over the years. The produce I get in my box is pretty basic. So far, I haven’t seen anything exotic. I did get limes, and those are hard to find at a reasonable price this year thanks to pests and our unseasonably warm winter. For the most part, though, it’s been eggplant, avocados, potatoes, mixed greens, and radishes. Lots and lots of radishes. If you are looking for romonesco, you won’t find it in your weekly Farm Fresh to You box.

You will find it cheaper to shop farmer’s markets. What I spend in additional cost I make up for in gained time. Plus, I’m someone who benefits from a lack of choices. Give me a box, force me to use what’s inside. I do well with limitations.

Organization is key. If you aren’t a meal planner, a CSA box may not be for you. My neighbor, a confirmed health nut, cancelled her Farm Fresh to You subscription last year because she couldn’t keep up with the produce. She doesn’t meal plan and doesn’t see herself picking up the habit anytime soon. For her, Farm Fresh to You was huge waste of money.

Caveat emptor, folks.

Open Face Radish Sandwich

Did I mention the lots and lots of radishes? I’ve tried radishes in the past and found them to taste like a pile of dirt. Mikey loves them, so I’m giving them to him as his after school snack. The above recipe–if you can call it that–is the one way I can get the entire family to eat radishes. They don’t taste like dirt when butter is involved.

I get another delivery tomorrow and, yes, there will be more radishes. I might try pickling them this time.

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. says

    Oh, man — you are good! I have a terrible time keeping up with my CSA box. At least one thing always goes to waste, but I’m really working on getting better about processing everything right off the bat.

    I don’t know if you’ve tried cooking radishes before, but they’re surprisingly tasty. This recipe I’ve tried, and everyone ate it (which is something), but I can’t remember how your crew feels about shrimp:

    And then I have this one pinned for future reference:

    (I’m not great about making side dishes. Hence the inevitable wasted veggies….)

  2. says

    Went to a local farmers’ market last weekend and brought home sugar snap peas, which all 3 kids ate raw like they were candy. To me, that was worth the extra cost. Not ready to commit to a CSA yet, but I will be going back to the market next Saturday. Baby steps.

    • says

      I like FFtY because they deliver the box to my doorstep. If I have to drive, odds are I’ll get distracted on my way there and wind up at a bookstore.

  3. Megan says

    We have been doing a CSA for the last 4 summers, and have loved it. We started as an experiment and found that, like you, it makes us eat more fruit and vegetables. Our shares are large enough we often freeze some along the way, and have great veggies through the winter while we wait for our shares to start again.

    • says

      I second this – but I love radishes. I’ve never gotten the “dirt” likeness. Heck, I pull them directly from the ground and just wipe them on my shirt before popping into my mouth!

  4. says

    I do one called Bountiful Baskets where you have to choose to opt in each week. Works way better for us than being required to go pick up something every time, especially when there are so many repeat items. I get the box about once a month and usually choose to get the bread and/or tortillas, too, since my husband will actually eat their wheat bread. I enjoy it, and it does sometimes get us out of our comfort zone (fennel, anyone?) but mostly it just makes me get creative with the menu, and that is a good thing in itself.

    • says

      Ooooh, you made such a great point about having the box delivered that I edited my post. I can’t believe I forgot to mention my very favorite part about the process!

  5. says

    This is my 3rd year doing a CSA half-share (every other week) and I absolutely love it. I eat way more fruits and vegetables because they’re in my house- I’d never buy this much at the store- and it gets me out of my comfort zone. I’ve found a way to enjoy everything in the box, except for beets. I also freeze and can so the bounty lasts throughout the year. If my CSA delivered to the house, it would be perfect! But I like my routine of heading to the farmers market and seeing what else is available.

  6. says

    We did FFTY for about 6 months and I did love it. At this point though, now that my girls are a little older, I enjoy taking them to the farmer’s markets during the week so I cancelled my box. It’s definitely cheaper at the markets. However, the convenience of the box was amazing….and the product was usually super fresh and delicious. I’m not a terrific meal planner but liked that it forced me to be a little more organized.

    I think it’s funny that they have door to door sales people selling the boxes….normally I wouldn’t even answer the door but for some reason, I did for them, and was so relieved that it was a produce box and not encyclopedias or someone preaching the end times…that I signed up in a jiffy.

  7. HeatherL says

    I am the same way with limitations. My husband is a meal planner & gets groceries for us on his way home from work on Tuesdays (he has the car, I don’t) so he always asks me on Mondays what I want & I just stare blankly. Or sometimes respond with “ice cream”. However, when our schedule was messed with, or we were snowed in & he says we have nothing for dinner, I can make soup out of that ” nothing”. ( Usually, beans, broth, tomato paste, pasta & if we have it, bacon, celery or carrots or a frozen vegetable.)
    We haven’t done a CSA–we do have several farmers markets nearby on the weekends, but we do have a bunch of radishes right now, so thanks for the recipe! (We mostly put them in salad.)

  8. says

    I loved getting our FFTY box delivered (and I even got romanesco a couple times, so maybe you just have to hang in there!). Loved that they had a veggies only option because I rarely eat fruit and when I do it’s because of a specific craving. I agree that even if it’s a little pricier the delivery makes it totally worth it.

    I keep feeling tempted to go back to it, but we’re doing a very stripped down meal planning system right now and it’s the only thing keeping us cooking. I just know that I don’t have the time/energy to spend working around the box contents right now. But that’s hard to admit to myself …

  9. Rebe says

    This is so good to hear that it’s working. Thank you for the radish ideas…I’m going to try that next time I have some! I signed up for my first CSAesque program and pick-up my first bag tomorrow! The owner considers it a farm buying club instead of a CSA so we get things you wouldn’t normally get, everything is grown within 75 miles of Cleveland and raised as organically as possible plus they provide a meal plan and recipes based on what’s in your bag (omnivore, vegetarian and vegan options). This week my bag will include a whole chicken, kale, pea shoots, a dozen eggs, black beans, wheat flour, milk, cheese, asparagus, and a head of lettuce. I’m hoping it works out because it will save me time and it’s very reasonably priced. I’m like you in that since I don’t have to make the decisions, I’ll do better at eating what I get.

  10. says

    I currently get the boxes from Farm Fresh to You too. And I totally agree with the bizarre compulsion to use what I get vs. buying produce of my choosing at the grocery store or farmer’s market and watching it rot. Not sure why that is! I think this is the 3rd CSA service I’ve tried and each one has pros and cons. It is a shame the FFTY boxes don’t have more weird things, but I don’t mind relying on the farmer’s market for that kind of thing.

    For radishes, I dip them in guacamole. I guess most anything is good in guacamole, but radishes are especially tasty for some reason.

  11. Cortney says

    I’ve done FFTY in the past and they would let me opt out of certain items and they would substitute something else. Incase you get sick of radishes maybe opt out? I liked the convenience of delivery but couldn’t justify the cost since I was going to the farmers market and grocery store anyway. I have loved my CSAs in the past, always felt like opening up a surprise present.

  12. bene says

    I totally <3 FFTY and love that I can opt out of certain veggies. Bok Choy ended up on our permanent no list as both the Boy and ate way to much in college and it seemed like we were being sent bags of it by FFTY.

    The Romanesco will probably show up in the fall/winter. Also, if your new birdie is anything like my parakeet, radish leaves will be a big hit as a birdie treat. We even taught him how to say it and he asks for them.

  13. Alicia says

    I subscribe to a CSA box (in San Diego) and I find it to be cheaper than the farmer’s market or grocery store. It is only $25/week, paid up front for the quarter. We get it every other week since it’s only 2 of us, but we still save quite a bit of money. We get romanesco all the time…I call it dinosaur broccoli. We have also gotten dragon fruit; probably the most exotic thing we’ve gotten in ours. And we get lots of radishes too, I put them in salads or eat them with hummus, my sister just eats them with sea salt!

    Also…FYI, not only are limes limited this year for the reasons you listed, they are also getting stolen by drug cartels!

    Glad you’re enjoying your veggies!

  14. says

    What a great idea! I think we have access to a few different CSA options around me, but they’re VERY expensive because they’re not that popular. I’ve had much better luck at the farmer’s markets in our area, especially because with only 2 of us in the house, a truckload of radishes are going bad no matter how much we like eating them!

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