Farmer Dave’s CSA 2011 Review – Season 2

Last year, I wrote a detailed review of my first CSA season with Farmer Dave’s in Dracut MA. We just finished this season’s CSA and the veggies were just as plentiful and delicious!

If you are new to CSA’s, please read last season’s review as it includes a lot more detail about CSA’s and their benefits. There is also information on the Farmer Dave web site.

I won’t repeat too much information here, but to summarize, Farmer Dave offers small & regular sized vegetable CSA shares with pick-ups in Beverly, Burlington, Lanesville, Dracut, Lawrence, Tewksbury, Somerville, Putnam Investments (for Putnam employees only), Downtown Gloucester, Boston Medical Center, Jamaica Plain, and newly added Reading.

They also offer summer fruit shares, as well as late fall and early spring shares.

Here are the details for the 2011 weekly “small” vegetable share pickup:

Week One

Keep in mind, I had a “small” share. The larger shares received at least double the amounts, and depending on the pick up location, the variety could be slightly different.

Peas, Spinach, Turnips with greens, Beets with greens, Red leaf lettuce, Garlic scapes, Tatsoi, and Pea tendrils; I also bought 3 pickling cukes for $1.17

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 1

I originally swapped the tendrils for more lettuce, but as I left I decided to go back and grab them back. Why shy away from something different and cool! They are tiny little flowers and lots of green stems leaves and tiny squiggly bits.
Farmer Dave's CSA Week 1- pea tendrils

Week Two

Bag of lettuce, Pea tendrils, Peas (bought extra 2 bags), Romaine lettuce, Arugula, 2 lettuce (Boston?), Tatsoi (choice of bok Choy), 2 zucchini squash, Beets with greens (or choice of turnips with greens), Garlic scapes

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 2

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 2

Week Three

Fennel (with extremely long fronds over 2 ft I think), Beets (or choice of radishes or turnips), Tatsoi (swapped for more beets), Gorgeous kale, Gorgeous chard, Red leaf lettuce, Spinach, Shelling Peas, Garlic scapes.

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 3

Fennel:
Farmer Dave's CSA Week 3

Week Four

Keep in mind, I had a “small” share. The larger shares received at least double the amounts, and depending on the pick up location, the variety could be slightly different.

red leaf lettuce, snap peas (choice of snow peas), fennel, scallions, beets w/ greens (choice of radishes, turnips), swiss chard (choice of arugula or spinach), (2) zucchini (choice of squash), pickling cuke

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 4

Week Five

sugar snap peas, kohlrabi, zucchini (choice of summer squash), pickling cuke, corn on cob, lettuce, basil, radish with greens, scallions, swiss chard

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 5

Week Six

cilantro (choice of parsley, basil), arugula (choice of mustard greens, option to take extra mustards, I didn’t take any), kohlrabi (swapped for extra onion), spring onions, kousa squash (choice of summer squashes), carrots (choice of beets), pickling cukes, (choice of) lettuce, 4 corn on cob

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 6

Week Seven

Keep in mind, I had a “small” share. The larger shares received at least double the amounts, and depending on the pick up location, the variety could be slightly different.

(4) corn on cob, scallions, cilantro (or choice of basil, chives), swiss chard, beets with greens (or choice of carrots), wax beans, green pepper, (3 total) slicing cukes and pickling cukes, (3 total) choice of summer squash: yellow, zucchini, or kousa, take up to 4 jalapeno peppers, green leaf lettuce

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 7

I love me some Jalepeno Peppers!
Farmer Dave's CSA Week 7

Week Eight

On vacation, no pickup, but the newsletter stated Pickling or slicing cucumbers, Zucchini, kousa, patty pan or summer squash, Lettuce, Carrots, Beets or Kohlrabi, Bok Choy, Kale or Swiss Chard, Scallions, Green Beans or Wax Beans, Asian Eggplant, Cubanelle Peppers, or Green Bell Peppers, possibly Cherry Tomatoes or Slicing Tomatoes

Week Nine

cilantro, green leaf lettuce, green beans, (2) jalapeno peppers, (2) zucchini squash, eggplant, scallions, garlic, 1/2 pint cherry/grape mixed tomatoes, (2) slicing tomatoes, (3) cukes, batch of carrots

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 9

I love larger sized scallions, and I love purple scallions even more!
Farmer Dave's CSA Week 9

Week Ten

This week we received a huge delivery! 3 heavy bags full!

(4) cukes, scallion, eggplant (choice of smaller round Thai, regular black/purple, & long thin purple), (2) summer squash (choice of yellow, zucchini, kousa), green bell sweet pepper (of choice of cubanelle pepper), romaine lettuce (or choice of kale), beets with greens (or choice of radish with greens), cilantro (or choice of basil), pint of mixed cherry/grape tomatoes, (2) slicing tomatoes, (1) heirloom tomato, (4) corn, small bag of cranberry shell beans (or choice of green beans), purple or green kohlrabi – swapped for more scallions, Take extra (4) seconds tomatoes or chile peppers

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 10

Week Eleven

On vacation, I didn’t pick up, but the newsletter stated Corn, Slicing Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Plum Tomatoes, Heirloom Tomatoes (if we’re lucky!), Cucumbers (pickling or slicing), Zucchini, kousa, or summer squash, Bell Peppers or Cubanelle Peppers, Swiss Chard, Kale or Lettuce, Hakurei Turnips, Scallions or Kohlrabi, Chives or Cilantro

Week Twelve

Keep in mind, I had a “small” share. The larger shares received at least double the amounts, and depending on the pick up location, the variety could be slightly different.

(2) cukes, waxed beans, (2) corn, (1) onion, (1) red pepper (cubanelle?). (2) poblano peppers (or choice of green bell), 1/2 pint cherry/grape mixed tomatoes, (1) heirloom tomato, (2) plum tomatoes, (1) slicing tomato, (2) summer squash (choice of zucchini, yellow, kousa), arugula (or choice of chard), scallions (or choice of kohlrabi), cilantro (or choice of chive), eggplant (swapped for chive), radishes (swapped for 2nd cilantro)

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 12

Week Thirteen

(2) cukes, (3) choice of peppers (poblano, red bell, or green bell), (1) carmen red sweet pepper, 1 pint box of 7 aji dulce mild chile peppers, (3) plum tomatoes, (1) slicing tomato, 1/2 pint mixed cherry/grape tomatoes, bag of green beans, beets (or choice of radishes), parsley, kale (or choice of chard) – swapped for 2nd parsley, (2) corn, as many as you can use – chile cherry chile pepper (medium hot), as many as you can use – 2nds tomatoes

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 13

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 13

Week Fourteen

Celery with greens, bag green beans (or choice of wax beans), (4) corn, small onion, (1) bell pepper, eggplant, pea tendrils (or choice of chard or kale), parsley (choice of chives or basil), beets with greens (or choice of radishes w/greens or purple topped turnips), (1) slicing tomato, (4) plum tomatoes, pint of mixed cherry/grape tomatoes, as much as you can use: chile peppers – aji dulce, jalapenos, and very hot (did not take very hot), as much as you can use: 2nds tomatoes

The pea tendrils didn’t have very many blossoms this time, but they seemed hardier and fresher than the spring batches, with lots of leaves and stalks.

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 14

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 14

Week Fifteen

Keep in mind, I had a “small” share. The larger shares received at least double the amounts, and depending on the pick up location, the variety could be slightly different.

beets (or choice of turnips or radishes), bok choy, chard or arugula or pea tendrils(?), kale, chives (or choice of parsley), (2) plum tomatoes, 1 onion, green beans, eggplant, 1/2 pint mixed cherry grape tomatoes, aji dulce or jalapeno peppers as much as you can use.

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 15

Week Sixteen

a lot of goodies this week!

large cabbage, carrots with greens or choice of beets, radishes or choice of turnips, large bag of green beans, carmen red pepper (horn shaped), (2) plum tomatoes, 1/2 pint mixed cherry/grape tomatoes, garlic, parsley or choice of basil or chives, celery or choice of scallions, arugula or choice of chard – swapped for 2nd celery, eggplant, butternut squash, aji dulce peppers (7) as many as you can use

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 16

Huge heavy cabbage!
Farmer Dave's CSA Week 16

Week Seventeen

small head of green lettuce or choice of arugula, tatsoi or choice of chard, cilantro or choice of basil chives or parsley, (2) onions, beets or choice of radishes, poblano pepper or choice of cubanelle, 1/2 pint mixed grape/cherry tomatoes, acorn squash, cranberry shell beans, large bag of green or choice of waxed – swapped for 2nd bag of shell beans, as many as you could use of habanero very hot peppers (didn’t take any)
and as much as you can use of plum tomatoes (took 8)

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 17

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 17

Week Eighteen

Keep in mind, I had a “small” share. The larger shares received at least double the amounts, and depending on the pick up location, the variety could be slightly different.

1/2 pint mixed Cherry grape tomatoes – choice of green beans, Red leaf lettuce or choice of arugula
Carrots with greens or choice of beets or scallions, 2 poblano peppers or choice of green bell, Eggplant or choice of other eggplant, Radish with greens, Butternut squash, Tatsoi or choice of chard or collards, Parsley or choice of cilantro or chives

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 18

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 18

Week Nineteen

Green bell pepper, Small bag of potatoes, 2 onions, Carrots with tops or choice of beets, Kohlrabi or choice of radishes – swapped for 2nd cilantro, Cilantro, Small bag of broccoli crowns, 2 Boston lettuces or choice of chard kale or arugula, 1/2 pint cherry/grape tomatoes, Butternut squash, Sugar snap peas or choice of green beans, Jalepeno peppers- As much as you can use (took 3)

I was psyched at the cool choices this week. Potatoes and broccoli are exciting!

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 19

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 19

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 19

Week Twenty

Keep in mind, I had a “small” share. The larger shares received at least double the amounts, and depending on the pick up location, the variety could be slightly different.

Last week! :(

Huge sweet potato, Garlic, Leek, Carrots or choice of beets, Romanesco or choice of broccoli or lettuce, Green leaf lettuce or arugula, Green bell peppers or choice of jalapeño or carmen red peppers, Bag of cranberry shell beans, Radish or purple top turnips swapped for extra bag of shell beans (I’ll have enough shell beans to last in freezer for many months I think!), Cilantro, Chard- as much as you can use

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 20

Farmer Dave's CSA Week 20

Romanesco is a little bit broccoli and a little bit cauliflower…but 100% delicious and such a treat to look at!
Farmer Dave's CSA Week 20

Next Season?

Unfortunately, I do not plan on joining the CSA for 2012, and it has nothing to do with Farmer Dave’s, or the quality and price of the CSA.

I simply decided that it was just too much pressure, especially in the summer months. It was just too overwhelming to process, cook and eat all the vegetables we were receiving. I just couldn’t keep up with cooking ideas, and I felt like I was missing out on other vegetables that I was craving (like broccoli) but couldn’t buy because we already had so much food from the CSA.

So next season, I’ll continue to support and shop at Farmer Dave’s farm stand but also venture out to other farms and farmer’s markets. I’m excited that I’ll be able to choose exactly the vegetables I want, and it’ll be easier to plan my menus, especially when we’re on vacation.

It will be so helpful to shop earlier in the day if needed, which will give me more time to organize and process my produce before I needed to start dinner. I also hope this will help with maintaining a grocery budget and meal plans, since I can purchase exactly what I need in smaller or larger quantities.

I’ll play it by ear, and see how it goes, who knows I might miss it so much, I’ll go back the following season, or I might decide to sign up for their late fall CSA share. We’ll see.

I want to make it clear that I do not regret participating in the past two CSA seasons; I learned about many amazing new foods, and learned how to prepare them. For this reason and many others, I do not want to dissuade anyone from joining a CSA.

To those that want to try a CSA in the Eastern Massachusetts area, I highly recommend Farmer Dave’s! They have many pick-up locations and it’s a great bargain for all the food you receive. PLUS, you are supporting a local farm!

One thought on “Farmer Dave’s CSA 2011 Review – Season 2”

  1. LOVE the photos, and love the idea of CSA. They are not too plentiful here on the south shore/Cape. I did learn of one, but it was too late in the summer by then to get in with them. I’m planning to contact them early spring for next year, though! We grow a few things at home; herbs, stringbeans, tomatoes and a few other veggies. We do have three or four good farmer’s markets in the area that I make an effort to shop at as well.

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