CSA Day: Inside Scoop

Hello lovely readers!  I’m writing this on Wednesday evening, which means I’ve just gotten home from a big day on the farm.  Wednesday is our CSA day–it’s the day the subscribers to our Community Supported Agriculture shares get to take home their weekly bins of freshly picked and cleaned veggies.  The best day of the week!


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  1. Susan Ruff says:

    I work for a CSA in Ohio. It’s an awesome experience and my pay is a half share of veggies and a fruit share!

  2. Sara says:

    Alex, thank you for taking the time in a long work day to give such a detailed account of what happens on a CSA! I am a walnut farmer in rural northern California and have often wished I could run a market farm like yours. Reading your post gives me a better idea of the resources needed to make it happen. I got a lot out of it!

    Aren’t we lucky to be farmers?!!

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Oh, that’s great! I love that some of these posts can be a true resource for some. We ARE lucky to be farmers. I love my job and hope to keep it up for a long time. Is there any way we can get some of your walnuts? I’m kind of a walnut fiend!

  3. Dori Troutman says:


    I’m so glad you wrote about this. I really enjoyed it. I don’t have a CSA as I have my own garden and to spare. But I’ve always kind of wondered about a CSA packing day! Those veggies look wonderful.

    The most incredible part of your job is that you have Ava along with you. What a great experience you are providing her. And her friend Leila must be a sweetheart to help our with Ava! What great memories for her too.


    – Dori, the Ranch Farmgirl –

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thanks, Dori. Packing day can be a big production–it’s hard to imagine how the farms that have hundreds (some have a thousand or more!!) of shares organize it all. I think many of them do one box at a time instead of one type of produce at a time like we do. And yes–I also think it is pretty incredible that Ava comes along with me. It wouldn’t be possible without Leila. I’d feel like I was neglecting Ava too much…but playing with friends while I’m preoccupied is great! Hugs to you and yours, as well.

  4. Susana says:

    I don’t know how you can I
    Pick and take. Photos but your blog is always beautifully expressed a d. I enjoy it….seeing. you work as hard as. I do. For one person…..aNd give awAy my excess In exchange for things I can’t afford. This weem I gave. Away zucchini d got back on hand cream d some fruit from one person and loaf of. Italian bread from z other person anf some Keirig coffee a d lunch from a other. My garden is like having a FRIEND.WITH. BENEFITS.YOU. NEVER KNOW HOW YOU WILL. BE BLESSED.

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Wow! Susana that is such a great bartering system. I miss days at the Farmer’s market and being able to do this. I’ll have my own little plot one day and it will be great fun to donate and barter with the excess! Thanks for sharing, as always.

  5. Joan says:

    We don’t have a CSA in our area but oh how nice it would be. I was raised on a farm in NE. where we grew much produce of which we canned, froze, jellied and jammed (jelly n jam was from the orchard). We rarely purchased from the super market, having “fresh” all year round was a huge treat and I miss it much. We do have Farmer’s Markets and we frequent them and that is nice. I so remember every day going to the gardens to harvest – peas one day, string beans the next, lettuce and the other greens along the way too – oh the tomatoes!!!! sweet corn and potatoes – goodness I haven’t had breakfast and all this food talk is making me hungry for a fresh vegie omelet (eggs from my sons chickens). Well thanks for the walk down memory lane and I do appreciate all the work you do – ain’t easy but so rewarding, body, mind n soul. God bless.

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      What amazing, vivid memories, Joan! Fresh, home grown veggies are SO tasty and good for our whole being. Thanks for sharing–hope your omelet was fantastic (but how could it not be?).

  6. I devoured every detail of your post. So informative. It helps people appreciate the work involved. We used to grow massive amounts of carrots, planting them the first part of July so that we could cover them with straw for winter digging and they wouldn’t have grown too big. I remember one day in the winter when we were scrubbing them, the spray of water we were using was freezing everything as we worked. We looked like snowmen when we were done. Even our eye lashes were frozen white.

    Your post is testament to how grateful we should be to those who feed us. It’s a tremendous amount of work. (Love the doll Ava is playing with:)

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thanks MaryJane! This isn’t even my intended post for today…rural internet is pretty great sometimes, as I’m sure you’re aware. However, I’m glad you got to read it! Farming in freezing temperatures definitely needs a hefty dose of good humors to make it worhtwhile–thanks for the vivid picture you’ve painted.

      And isn’t that doll head hilarious!?! her farming friend, Leila, brings out the most hilarious toys to share with her. Great to hear from you, as always!

  7. That is a LOT of work! When my mom and I ran a CSA, we didn’t scrub a darned thing. 🙂 Veggies that needed it got a rinse, but no more than that. We didn’t expect our veggies to look like the supermarket, and neither did our customers (thankfully!). We also had three “work days” or “farm visit days” when we’d put the kids to work helping to harvest potatoes. They didn’t mind the dirt, and worms, and loved turning the dirt with their hands to expose the potatoes. We would put them all in a big wire basket (about 4 foot by 4 foot with 5″ sides) and carry to the open and spray them off with a hose. We also weren’t great about weighing things, it was “a bag of this” and a “bunch of that.” We also included bouquets of wildflowers that I would go off and pick after we were done with veggies. We had about a dozen customers.

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Mystery Vegetables

Kohlrabi? Broccoli Raab? Asian what’s that? And what the heck is that thing that kind of looks like a miniature purple cabbage?

Vibrant kohlrabi! Delicious raw or cooked!

Vibrant kohlrabi! Delicious raw or cooked!

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  1. Susabelle says:

    Oh, my. I have not tried broccoli raab. I would probably miss its window of picking, too, as I’m so busy with my day job and my the release of my new novel that I only really get to play in my garden two days a week for an hour or so. I do grow a TON of kohlrabi, which I absolutely ADORE. So yummy. I eat it raw, or eat it cooked. I have not roasted it, but I might try that. My go-to recipe for kohlrabi is a kohlrabi and red lentil soup. The mild, almost sweet flavor of the kohlrabi mellows very well, and red lentils cook fast, unlike the traditional lentils. I make huge batches and then freeze it in meal-sized portions for winter. A good google search will find the recipe – it is simple and uses few ingredients. She uses collard greens, but I have used kale and like it better than collards. You could also use beet greens or spinach.

  2. Joan H says:

    Oh my. I could have used this info last summer. My first summer in rural Arkansas, signed up worth a local farmer for WEEKLY CSA produce, etc. Bag after bag of mystery veggies! Mostly it was the greens that confused me. I finally figured out you can cook them all the same way, but I wanted to know what I was eating! I bought a cookbook written specifically for southern produce and CSA/farmers market cooks, but still did not get a lot of photos to help me identify the items. I spent a lot of time researching, and guessing. This is a great post. Thanks!

  3. Jaye says:

    Broccoli raab is great when you peel the exterior layer off, the leaves as well!
    Sauté with tons and of garlic and olive oil for 5’min or so

    Can add sausage or pig oil nuts

  4. Jennifer says:

    Joan, I had that same issue with my CSA share this spring! Lots of things we didn’t know WHAT to do with! We ended up blanching anything we didn’t know what to do with right away and we’ll put it in soup this fall.

  5. susana says:

    I haven’t tried the broccoli RAAb, but if it taste like broccoli I may try it….love broccoli and cauliflower.,..love mesculem greens. I juice kale. Iove what i have heard about broccoli raab ….taste better if you use it in soup with other veggies and love oil in the soup. My problem is knowing what to do with okra…..I planted Lots of it for my husband, but since he`s passed on to glory, I’m stuck with what to do with it all. I can only eat so much of it in soup. Any ideas or recipe?

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Hmmmm…okra…I’m not too familiar with this veggie since it’s a southern thing. I have a friend from Georgia who uses it in pork dishes, and I’ve always enjoyed eating them, but I have no idea how she prepared it! I recommend Googling some recipes that have great reviews and giving them a try. Good luck!

    • Susabelle says:

      Okra is a tough one. A few okra is all most people need. They are great for thickening soup, believe it or not. I will eat it deep fried, but that’s so high in calories, it seems like an awful waste to make them that way.

      I’m sorry to hear about your husband, though. Many blessings to you, Susana.

  6. Dori Troutman says:


    Yay! I’m super excited to try Broccoli Raab. I’ve seen it but have been intimidated by it! 🙂 So I’m going to buy some at the farmers market and give your recipe a try.

    Speaking of roasting/grilling veggies. We were at a wedding recently and they sprinkled Romaine lettuce (which was cut in half horizontally) with a bit of balsamic vinegar and then grilled it quickly on each side. They chopped it and put it in a salad with cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and bacon crumbles. OH MY WORD. That was the best salad. I’ve tried it at home and not been quite as happy with it, but still it is very good. A good change up to the regular salad!

    Ava is darling in her little Farm Baby shirt! 🙂

    – Dori, the Ranch Farmgirl –

  7. Debbie says:

    Hi Alex,
    I’ll have to look for some at the Farmers Market, too! Last week we were introduced to Ground Cherries… The vendor next to us had quite a tent full of delicious farm fresh produce. People were lining up all day to get some.. Finally when it slowed down a bit I went over to ask about the cute little round things wrapped in husks. The farmers wife unwrapped one and let us all try one. They were so delicious. I Googled it and you can get seeds from Baker Creek Rare Seeds. I think I’ll give them a go next year! I liked them just plain. They are similar to a cherry tomato but smaller and sweeter and a little firmer in texture. Yummy though! Your little farm baby, Ava is growing up so quickly… I’m glad she’s not afraid of dirt!
    Fun and informative posting, as always! Happy Summer, Alex.
    Deb ( Beach Farmgirl )

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      My dad was just telling me about ground cherries–they sounded very interesting from his description, yours makes me want to try them! Thanks for the check in; I always appreciate it. Ava is definitely NOT afraid of dirt! She is getting so big and adventurous.

  8. Tanja Eiben says:

    I know broccoli raab (or Kohlrabi) from when I grew up in Germany. Both my mum and grandma had it growing in their garden and I get always very sad when I see those tiny barely walnut-sized bulbs in the supermarket, because ours were usually the size of a small apple! My mum always just sauted them in veggie broth, with salt, pepper and fresh parsley until they were soft (kinda like a cooked potato), add a little bit of half and half and then served it as a side dish. Sometimes, when it was supposed to be really special, she added bacon crumbs. My other favorite way of eating kohlrabi was to slice it raw and mix it in a cucumber salad. It is pretty close in flavor, but will actually make the cucumber salad taste more crunchy. Today I like to use pieces of raw kohlrabi with my veggies to dip in hummus and other dips. Always cut away the skin and the parts that looks “woody” (like it has fibers in the tissue), as those taste bitter and are hard to chew. When biting into a fresh kohlrabi it always reminds me of the consistency of an apple, very crunchy, but with a slight vegetable taste.

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Summ-yurt Time


We’ll be on the move, soon!

Hey Farmgirls, it’s been a while since the last yurt check-in, and you’ve been asking for some updates.  As we’re (likely) finishing up our last few months of living in the round, it seems like it’s a perfect time to let you in on some of our yurt life findings…

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  1. Denise Ross says:

    Thanks Alex for the insight into your yurt set up and life within it. It’s very interesting and I’m glad you are comfortable and happy with how it works for you and your family. Little Ava is a real cutie. Where will you be living when your time living in your yurt comes to an end?
    Denise – Australia

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thanks, Denise! We are most likely moving into Anchorage so my partner’s commute will be much shorter. He spends 10-13 hours a week commuting as it is. It’ll be great to have that time back!

  2. Susana says:

    Youth haa its advantage for yurt lifestyle. Ava looks…. contented.that’s all that matters.

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thanks, Susana! Ava is very content, she doesn’t know any better and still gets everything she needs and plenty of the things she wants. Happy little lady, she is!

  3. Joan says:

    Great insight to your living!! I’m looking to downsize but – especially at my age a yurt won’t be IT – need a few more creature comforts but I love that you have done it and darling Ava is none the worse for it – it will be great to spend more time together, so hoping that all goes well. God bless

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thank you, Joan! This reminds me of my dad saying, “I like it–I think I could have done this when I was younger, but not now!” haha. It has been a good adventure, and one that we will look back on fondly…while taking hot showers in a future home!

  4. Dori Troutman says:

    Hi Alex,

    Thanks so much for writing about your Yurt life! I really enjoyed it. It reminds me a little of living in our travel trailer for the almost 3 years it took to build our house. It was really fun for the first year or so. Then, the second year we tolerated it. The final 6 months I wanted to burn the place down!!! 🙂 It made our house all the sweeter!

    Hope the fires have settled out some? I’ve talked to my sister in law (in Anchorage) a few times and always forget to ask her about the fires.



    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Hey Dori! Yes, I’ve had those same feelings…now that we are facing the end of our time here it is much better, though. The fires near us have died down, but there are still plenty of fires throughout the state. It’s been a bit rainy for the last couple of weeks, but not nearly rainy enough! It is terrible for both fires and farming…We need some new rain dances to perform, any ideas?! 🙂

  5. Rowena Philbeck says:

    Thanks for sharing your Yurt and family. Such a special place and I know you have great memories their and alway will. Enjoy your new adventure of a new place and I’m sure saving the gas will be great and more time with family. Are you selling your place their? I have seen others that take theirs down. Very cool for sure. Thanks again.

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Rowena! We will likely be selling the yurt at some point. We’ll probably leave it up for the next winter and into next summer as a “second home.” This is funny for me to say! haha. We will probably sell it then, although the possibility to keep it is always an option. They are intended to be nomadic homes, so if we sell it or if we keep it it will be moved.

  6. Rachelle says:

    What made you decide to move to the city? What will happen to the yurt? Thanks for sharing your life in the yurt. it has been very fun and interesting. I know I couldn’t do it for as long as you have.

    • Alexandra Wilson says:

      My partner works in the city, and it was getting hard to justify the two hours (or more) of commuting he was doing every day–especially since I don’t have class or regular work where we were living. We will ultimately sell the yurt, but it is still up right now as a “country house.” Plus, we still have quite a bit of little stuff in the yurt that needs to be moved/donated/tossed! It was definitely a fun and different experience. So glad we did it, but I’m also glad to be living in a place with more modern amenities!

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