You might of seen my original post introducing the theme of my Vegan MOFO posts, but you might have tons of questions. So I am making a quick little FAQ page while I wait to pick up my CSA share tomorrow morning.

What is a CSA?

I wrote a lot about CSAs on my CSA Beginners Guide, which I would recommend checking out. But a quick answer is that you pay a lump sum of money, and each week for a set amount of time you get a box of the produce. I break down different ways farms do this on the page if you are curious.

So what does your CSA look like?

My CSA is one farm. They do boxed shares for pick up in Toms River and Holmdel, but I pick up their summer share at their farm in Chesterfield. It starts after Memorial Day, and then runs for 26 weeks. I pay $660, which averages out to $25.50 each week. Sometimes the farm offers an option to buy more produce, and has products from other farms to buy. They also offer a winter share, that we never participated in.

When we pick up the share there is a board that lists all the food we can take that is already picked. Usually

I want to join a CSA, where should I look?

You’ll probably have to do some digging, but the best place to start is asking friends if they are part of a CSA and if they are happy with it. But googling “CSAs near me” might not get much. But there are two helpful directories that I’ve found. Bounty from the Box has lots of information about each farm listed, though they have limited listings. Local Harvest has a more extensive database with Events, Farmer Markets, and CSAs. Even better is that they list what type of CSA it is, if they have pick up locations, etc.

How do you find recipes for your produce?

Pinterest and Google do a lot of heavy lifting. Sometimes the best thing to do is simply type in some of the ingredients you are trying to use and see what comes up. It also helps to have a large collection of cookbooks, but sometimes simple vegetable “bible” books help you get comfortable with the produce. I really like Vegetable Love as it breaks down chapter vegetable by vegetable. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone has instructions for cooking lots of vegetable as well. Neither are 100% vegan though.

What do you do with vegetables you don’t like?

Think about what type of dishes you’ve tried with said vegetable. For example I am not a huge eggplant fan, so I sat and thought about what I’ve eaten with it, breaded and fried, lots of tomato based dishes, very Italian stuff. So I might search for Asian inspired dishes. If it is a texture you don’t like, look for dishes where you puree the stuff, like soups or sauces.

Any other recipe tips?

Pin any recipes you think are interesting, even if you can’t make it this year. Maybe you don’t have enough of that vegetable, or maybe you don’t have all the vegetables that week. It’s all good. Save it because then you can revisit it next week, or next year.

Also don’t knock non-vegan recipes. You can easily modify the recipe by using vegan alternatives. Use vegan yogurt, use a cashew cream, or tofu instead of meat. You get it.

Any other questions about owning a CSA?

For now, I’ll see you tomorrow with a list of the produce for the week.