My Winter CSA: Lakeshore Family Farm

Half share of produce from Lakeshore Family Farm

For a few years now, Bill and I have been getting greens from a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), Mud Lake Farm. I love having fresh greens in the dead of winter, grown in the farm’s greenhouse. But this is the first time we’ve tried a more traditional CSA program–the kind where you sign up and pay for a share or half-share of produce and get a “grab bag” of vegetables for the  week.

One reason we haven’t tried it before is because just two of us live in our household. Even a half share seemed like a lot. Another reason is because I stock up on produce at the Holland Farmers Market straight through December, squirreling away squash and onions and carrots and apples in the fridge or coolers in the garage. We also have a variety of frozen veggies and berries in our freezer from last summer. The third reason is because, frankly, I wanted more control over what veggies I got. (I really hate beets.)

But I kept seeing Lakeshore Family Farm’s posts on Facebook about what was in the CSA share for the week and, even with beets as a potential vegetable, we decided to try it out. I think the clincher was the “trade table.” I’ll explain.

If you haven’t participated in a CSA program before, here’s how it works with Lakeshore Family Farm: You sign up and pay in advance for an eight-week program. For their Winter CSA Program (half-share of produce) it’s $120. That comes out to $15 per week for fresh, local veggies. And all I have to do is drive across town to pick them up at a community location on my pick-up day (Wednesday).

Today was the first day, and what did I find in my share? Beets. Why aren’t there any in the photo? Because there was a bag of turnips on the trade table and you’re allowed to swap one item. I gladly left my bag of beets and took someone else’s turnips. Check out the photo above to see everything we got: apples, onions, celery root, acorn squash, turnips, sweet potatoes, more turnips, and carrots. (Can you buy all that for $15 or less at the grocery store?)


Yes, we have a lot of turnips. So watch my blog to see what we do with them. But, really, isn’t this the way we’re supposed to be eating anyway, in season? It’s like strawberries: When they’re ripe in Michigan I eat them almost everyday. Their season lasts about a month, and then I don’t eat them anymore except for what’s stored in our freezer. But it’s better than consuming produce from thousands of miles away. And what I like about Lakeshore Family Farm is they post produce recipes on their website so you can get inspiration for what to do with all those turnips (or beets!).


8 responses to “My Winter CSA: Lakeshore Family Farm

  1. I love beets. As a special favor to you, I would barter for beets–if the trade table is ever empty!

  2. Yes, any time beets for me, bartering, paying for it, whatever.

  3. So, I’m interested in the turnip recipes, cuz turnips are to me as beets are to you. I was just talking about our CSA 1/2 share with my sister today.

    • When I looked at the farm’s website, I was amazed how many turnip recipes there were! So I’m going to check those out, do a little Googling, and also refer to my Mark Bitman “How to Cook Everything” cookbook. We’ll see what bubbles up! Thanks for stopping by, Kate!

  4. I will be interested to see what you do with turnips. I’ve learned that if I shred my raw beets and then mix that with rosemary and feta and walnuts and make a pancake type thing, they go over very well.

    • Tammy, I like your beet recipe. I may have to try it because I love all those ingredients. We did have turnips tonight, and actually my husband came up with the melange: diced turnips, sliced carrots, and chopped leeks all sauteed in olive oil, salt, and pepper. I’ll post a photo tomorrow! Thanks for stopping by my blog and offering a suggestion for beets!

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