Member profiles: Jim & Martha’s Market Share Madness

 

We’re kicking off the Winter CSA season with a series of member profiles. Seasonal CSA eating isn’t on everyone’s radar, but through this series we want to demystify membership and share our members’ passion for vegetables, eating fresh and the Happy Hollow Farm community.

Here, Jim and Martha tell us about their taste for seasonal, fresh vegetables and their use of  Happy Hollow Farm’s ‘market share’ package.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourselves and what brought you to Columbia?

Martha was born & raised here in Columbia, growing up in the same neighborhood as FarmHer Liz’s family. After a long career as an architect, she is now retired, though is busy with volunteer service on the City’s Board of Adjustment, as the Exec of the Mid-Missouri Chapter of the AIA, on the State Licensing Board for Architects & Engineers, and in other capacities.

Jim is originally from St Louis, met Martha while in graduate school, and they moved (back) to Columbia almost thirty years ago. He is semi-retired as a Conservator of Rare Books & Documents, and has been a writer and artist in the community for decades.

 

How did you learn about CSA, and what got you to join up?

Initially we’d heard about Liz starting Happy Hollow farm through the neighborhood grapevine. Coverage of her efforts in the local media re-alerted us and got us to look into what this CSA thing was all about. We liked the idea of supporting locally-sourced and sustainable agriculture, particularly one we had a personal connection to, so signed up.

 

What would you say are the key benefits of joining Happy Hollow Farm’s CSA?

Jim has been an enthusiastic gardener ever since we moved to Columbia, but for the last few years has concentrated on growing his own heirloom tomatoes and super-hot habanero peppers. We’d hit the Farmer’s Markets occasionally, but hadn’t really integrated buying locally-grown produce into our regular marketing. We figured that joining HHF would be a great motivator to make that a regular part of our lives and eating habits. And it has proven to do just that.

 

Some people worry about how they’ll adapt to CSA eating- how have you found it?

Well, this is why we decided to go with a “Market Share”, and it has given us a great deal of additional flexibility. Since we usually have our own crop of tomatoes, we can pass those by when we have a good yield of our own. And we tend to travel a fair amount, so those weeks when we’re gone we don’t have to worry about having to find someone to pick up and use our “share”. Lastly, being a little older and a tad stuck in our ways, we like the ability to pick an choose what items we get each week we are here.

So the “Market Share” is perfect for us. We tend to set out our dinner plans week to week, and we can always select those items we want and know that we’ll use. This way we get to enjoy the fantastic freshies, support a environmentally-minded local enterprise, and know that little or nothing is going to go to waste.

 

What are your top tips for new members?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! We weren’t sure how well joining a CSA would work for us, but in talking with Liz we found out about the “Market Share” option, and how it would work.

The same principle applies to asking about unusual produce you might see at the market or in your share box. Don’t know what to do with that unusual-looking veggie? Ask! Everyone who works with HHF is friendly and helpful, willing to share their knowledge and give you tips on getting the best results from your produce. Even being a tad stuck in our ways we’ve broadened our culinary horizons thanks to trying new things from this great CSA.

 

What’s your favorite vegetable, and can you recommend a recipe for it?

I’ve really come to love the “spicy greens” as an addition to my almost daily lunch salad. And for the last couple of years I’ve put up a goodly amount of garlic scape pesto, but using pistachios instead of pine nuts. I make it up, then freeze half-pint jars that I can enjoy all year round.

 

Happy Hollow Farm’s 8-week winter CSA is a great way to explore the benefits of eating the CSA way.

Check out our Membership Q&A for more details.

 You can sign up here: https://www.happyhollowfarm-mo.com/join-us/

The market share provides a pick your own bounty at the Columbia Farmers Market.

 

Member Profiles: Jess and Justin’s CSA Journey

HHF members Jess and JustinWe’re kicking off the Winter CSA season with a series of member profiles. Seasonal CSA eating isn’t on everyone’s radar, but through this series we want to demystify membership and share our members’ passion for vegetables, eating fresh and the Happy Hollow Farm community.

 First up we have Jess and Justin who are newbies both to Columbia and Happy Hollow Farm’s CSA.

 Tell us a little bit about yourselves and what brought you to Columbia?

Justin and I moved to the USA from London in September 2017- I’m a Brit and Justin was born and raised in St Louis. We met in London at grad school where we were both studying environmental politics and sustainability. After 5-years living together in London we decided we should spend some time in the USA, and we eventually landed in the wonderful Columbia. Justin works for the Department of Natural Resources in Jeff City, and I work in Corporate Sustainability for an international advertising agency.

How did you learn about CSA, and what got you to join up?

We’re both avid sustainability advocates so we are always looking for ways to have a net positive impact on the world. Jess grew up in a town called Stroud which has an award-winning farmers market, so eating locally and seasonally has been on our to-do list for a long time.

Back when we lived in the UK some close friends joined a low-carbon CSA and took us along to a farm shift. We spent our afternoon planting leeks, and our evening eating the spoils of their weekly CSA box. We lived in London where geography limits CSA access, but we knew it was the kind of thing we’d love to do in the long run.

After moving to Columbia we discovered the farmers market, and a Google search put Happy Hollow Farm’s CSA on our radar. This spring we just decided to take the plunge and do something different…. and that was really the start of our CSA adventure!

What would you say are the key benefits of joining Happy Hollow Farm’s CSA?

From my perspective (Justin) it’s the taste and quality of the vegetables. There’s a lot of veg we used to buy at the grocery store that I’ve never really liked, but it turns out that it’s because they’re tasteless or mushy after being hauled around the country, chilled and preserved with ethene. Oh, and the farm itself- getting to visit on our work shift was awesome, I’m jealous of Liz’s greenhouse.  

And for me (Jess), I love having a deeper connection to my food. It’s local, you get to know Liz and her crew, you’re in tune with the seasons and the weather and through the work commitment you play a small part in the production process. Eating seasonally automatically adds variety to your meals- it’s never boring.

 Some people worry about how they’ll adapt to CSA eating- how have you found it?

I’m the cook in our house (Jess), and I thought I’d find it difficult to stray away from the standard vegetables we used to buy at the store (tomatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, zucchini!). I’ve actually found it to be the complete opposite. I now realize we ate the same things over and over, and the natural variation you get with a CSA made me excited to try new recipes or experiment with older ones.

What are your top tips for new members?

Meal planning is key to ensuring you eat everything in the share, but that makes it sound really hardcore… it isn’t. If you have a partial share with 2 people, you’re probably planning for 2-3 nights in a week and maybe taking a salad to work once or twice a week.

Liz emails you the vegetables in the shares each Monday or Tuesday, so you can use the week to plan what you cook. Also, the website has a calendar of the types of vegetables you’ll receive through the season (weather depending!) which does help.

But seriously, just take the leap and do it! Try it out with the shorter Winter CSA to see what you think, start off with a single share so you adjust to the amount of vegetables if you don’t eat many right now. Talk to Liz and the HHF crew at the market and they’ll give you amazing ideas for recipes. You really won’t regret it!

 What’s your favorite vegetable, and can you recommend a recipe for it?

I love the parts of the vegetables that you don’t always get in the store- garlic scapes, radish greens, beet greens etc (Jess). I am also obsessed with Swiss chard. My favorite recipe for these would be an Indian palak paneer, subbing out or supplementing spinach for the greens in your share that week. The greenness of the curry seems weird but it’s delicious. I’ve used Hemme Brothers’ cheese curds instead of paneer before- just add them in right before serving as they melt more than paneer does.

Happy Hollow Farm’s 8-week winter CSA is a great way to explore the benefits of eating the CSA way.

 Check out our Membership Q&A for more details.

 You can sign up here: https://www.happyhollowfarm-mo.com/join-us/

Overwintering Allium Transplanting Commences

We’re excited to have glorious weather for our fall onion & garlic transplanting this year!  Last year (2018) was a real struggle with all of the rain.  This year it’s been smooth sailing!!!! 

An enormous amount of work and preparation goes into planning where each crop will go.  For instance the field where we are planting the alliums this fall, had the chickens on it for a few months earlier this spring.  Then it was planted to a cover crop of Buckwheat & Sorghum Sudan Grass for most of the summer months.  Once those got turned in to the soil and started to decompose we were able to get the beds prepped and ready for planting the allium crops.   It’s now the third week of October and we are finally getting these crops in the ground!  

WOW…  that’s a lot of planning & preparation!!!

Open House Sunday September 15th

Join us on Sunday September 15th from 4pm- 6pm for cocktails and farm walks.  Bring a friend and come see what organic agriculture looks like in central MO!

For directions to the farm follow the map on the Contact Page on our website.

CFM Vendor Spotlight

 

Check out this great write up on the Columbia Farmers Market webpage!

Vendor Spotlight: Happy Hollow Farm