Why You Should Think About CSAs in Winter

As I write this, there’s a bit of a blizzard outside and I can’t stop making my favorite comfort foods. It’s definitely winter, though I haven’t accomplished my winter goals of relearning how to ski and perfecting my chili recipe.

However, if cooking is an important part of your life, you may want to start thinking about spring and summer produce. Does this seem very early and out of season? Maybe. But here’s what I learned from my new friends at Work Song Farm: if you really want to get the best local produce, help your farmers out and reserve your CSA this winter. Why? Because even though there’s snow on the ground, farmers need to order seeds, plan out their farms, and figure out the various growing seasons. The more advance notice they have for the demand for the produce, the better they can prepare and meet the need.

These photos of beautiful produce are from a half-share I picked up in October. Abby and Dan, the farmers and Jack/Jill of all trades, generously offered me the opportunity to try my hand at the CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and in this case, customers pick up their produce right at the farm each week with plenty of beautiful organic fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Work Song Farm is a certified organic CSA farm in Hopkinton, and you can learn about their philosophy on their website. As you can see in some of these photos, there are often opportunities to choose between crops, depending on if you have a recipe in mind or want to try something new. If you know you’re going away for the weekend or already have a pantry full of onions or potatoes, you can opt to trade for other things that might last longer on the shelf.

Work Song Farm is located right across the street from Beech Hill Farm, an amazing ice cream shop in the summer! The beautiful location really drives home the point that your produce is as fresh as it gets and you truly get your food directly from the farmers themselves.

As I mentioned, I received a half-share of the weekly CSA and came home with a giant bag of food. Here’s one of the delicious meals I made from my haul: a soup with potatoes, squash, onions, kale, and lots of fresh herbs, plus a can of chickpeas for a little extra protein.

Interested in growing your culinary skills, eating more fresh vegetables, and supporting an awesome local business? You can learn more about Work Song Farm on their website, Facebook page, and at the Contoocook Farmers Market (summer and winter) on Saturdays. Visit their Instagram for recipe ideas, too. CSA signups have begun; check out the details here! A big thank you to Dan and Abby for sharing their food and knowledge, and to my friend Bryanna for the introduction!

Have you discovered any unique, tasty food or drinks lately? Let us know! Be sure to email us at eatdrinkplay@stayworkplay.org to share your ideas of any New Hampshire related food/drink/venue/organization that you think should be featured in our “Eat Drink Play” blog posts. 

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