The Value of a CSA Share: 2020 Member Survey Results

Just like that, another growing season at Farmers on 57th is here. Amidst all the turmoil of last spring came the delightful pivot to sign up more Harvest Box CSA Members than ever before to eat hand-grown food straight from the farm. After receiving harvest boxes for 20 weeks filled with fresh veggies and herbs, 56% of our members participated in a survey to share their experiences.

100% of the CSA members who filled out the survey felt that being a CSA member was beneficial to them, and here are a few of the reasons why: 

Affordable Farm Fresh Vegetables

People from annual household income levels under 40K to 100K+ were represented in our 2020 CSA membership. 40% of respondents saw their overall spend on groceries decrease and 45% said their grocery spend stayed the same.

Survey of CSA member household income
Survey of CSA member household spending.

Members were keen to share their tips, tricks, and recipes throughout the season on how they saved every last bite, including:

  • Eating the whole vegetable from top-to-bottom, like using radish tops for soup and smoothies, or turning any leafy green into a delicious pesto. These under-recognized veggie greens are packed full of nutrients and flavour. And some of them aren’t even available at the grocery store.
  • Roast, pan-fry, steam, blend – there are numerous ways to experiment with preparing a vegetable. Sometimes the perfect side dish just needs a gentle oil massage and a garlic pumpkin seed garnish.
  • Farm to table meals into winter with a little preparation. Pickling daikon radish, curing onions and drying herbs on the kitchen counter, puréeing and canning tomato sauce, or chopping up leftover veggies from the week and freezing them in an air-tight container or bag. Stocking up the freezer and pantry can extend summer veggies into the colder months.

Veg out on Veggies

Summer is the time to gorge on the huge array of locally available veggies! 80% of our 2020 CSA member respondents ate more veggies than they normally do and in the process learned more about the veggies that grow locally and how to incorporate them into their weekly diet. 86% of respondents said the CSA box gave them the opportunity to try and love something new. For some, it was a chance to try varieties of veggies often unavailable or costly in stores such as purple kohlrabi, lemon cucumbers, bunches of broccolini, gai lan, or piccolo eggplants.

A big thank you to our CSA members who support local growing and eating. We look forward to welcoming new and returning members to the farm once again, to enjoy the bounty of fresh and tasty food.

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