Meal Plan of the Week 3/9-3/15 and How to Find a CSA

Aaaah!!!! Finally getting this meal plan written, I have to say I had a hard time deciding what to make this week. Thank you to those of you who gave me some inspiration! I think I had "cook's block" this weekend. Lol!

This week, I signed up for my Spring CSA share! I'm dreaming of strawberries, asparagus, fresh herbs, spring onions, peas, radishes... I cannot wait! Have you signed up for a local CSA? The growing season is right around the corner, so if you are thinking of signing up for a CSA this summer, most farmer's are already taking payments for summer shares.



If you are thinking of joining a CSA, but don't know where to start, the Local Harvest website is a great place to start. This website lists CSAs throughout the country and includes contact info for the farms and what type of produce/ meat/dairy they offer.

I do not recommend simply finding a farm and signing up immediately. I took my time when choosing my first CSA and I was glad I did, there was a farm listed that I really wanted to join, but when asking around, I heard the vegetables were not of the best quality, their eggs were outrageously overpriced, and the farm was not organized well. As much as you might want to support a local farmer, you do want to make sure you get value for your money. So, once you find a farm that suites your family's needs ask around, post on your social media and ask if anyone has feedback, or call the farmer! My farmer is happy to take time and answer ANY question from a member (one of the reasons I adore him!).

There are many factors to consider --  you want to make sure the farm shares will suite your family's lifestyle. If your farm has a website make sure to check the FAQS page as many of your questions might be answered there. If not, here are some questions to ask/think about before signing the check:

1. What size are the shares?
2. What is the cost per share, how many weeks of shares?
3. Can you split a share with another member?
4. When/Where is the pickup site?
5. Do you need to pick some of your share?
6. Does the farm require members to volunteer work hours?
7. Historically, what type of produce has been included in shares?
8. Can you visit the farm, see where your food is grown, where the animals are raised?
9. Does your farmer offer a discount for signing up for a season well ahead of time, or referring a friend?
10. How will your farmer communicate with the members, email, facebook, phone calls?
11. There isn't a farm pickup site near you -- how can you start one?

Joining a CSA can be a bit of a learning process, but once you find a CSA that works well for your lifestyle, you will love it! My CSA is amazing... 3 different size shares, organic fruits/veggies/grains/eggs, a comprehensive website, year round shares, and most importantly, a farmer and members committed to making the CSA a true community. I started a facebook page for all the members at my pick-up site and we have established a great forum for sharing recipes and tips regarding the week's share. So, if you are thinking of joining a CSA, take a moment -- check out Local Harvest and ask around. Joining a CSA will be one of the healthiest things you can do for your family in 2014! I hope you found this post helpful, now on to this week's meal plan!

Sunday: leftovers! I'm literally sitting here typing this after having a blast running the Celtic 5K with Jen, Holly, and Nora! I'm exhausted (yup, was up super early for hockey on Daylight Savings, then straight to the race. Of course we followed up the race with some yummy eats and frosty beverages;) So much fun!

 Photo: Feeling lucky!󾀼
 
Monday: London Broil, Maple Roasted Root Vegetables, asparagus, sautéed mustard greens
Thank you Lisa for the inspiration on this meal! I picked up my local meat order on Friday and I have some local, pasturized London Broil to marinate and grill on the stovetop.
 
Tuesday: Butternut squash soup, open faced grilled cheese with tomato
 
Wednesday: Turkey Burger, salad with beets, carrots and feta
 
Thursday: Polenta Crusted Quiche, roasted potatoes and shallots
 
Friday: Leftovers
 
Saturday: Homemade Pizza, salad
 
Have a great week, everyone! I hope you are finding some inspiration from this week's meal plan. I'm so thankful for all the feedback I receive from you guys. Make sure to stay tuned later in the week, as I will be posting the recipes from last week's FMCC!
 
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