CSA Distribution Pickup tips
We pick up our weekly distribution at the farm, so instead of having a box ready to go, we actually select our produce from a series of bins, almost like at a grocery store. There is a board that tells us what we can take (e.g. the first week we could choose 8 out of the 10 items available) and then each bin is labeled with how much of each we should take (e.g. 1 lb of spinach, two heads of lettuce). Each week there will also be some crops that we can pick ourselves. These tips are for that type of pick up and picking your own crops (PYO).
– There is a lot
- Bring a lot of bags, always better to have a couple extra sitting in the car than not enough
- The quantity and size of the produce will change each week (and year). Our first pick up included a number of large items such as collard greens, green leaf lettuce, swiss chard. I filled (overfilled) 3 reusable grocery bags to the brim before PYO and I expect the amounts to increase over the weeks
– The veggies will probably be wet
- The farm gives everything a rinse so items are a bit wet. The day I picked up it had also been raining, so that may have added even more moisture but everything was pretty wet. My bags had soaked through by the time I got home and had to be hung outside to dry.
- I’d recommend putting a towel down in the car to soak up any water that leaks out on the ride home – just in case. We have plastic mat and it had a few small pools of water.
– Managing with a young child
- I had my daughter in the Ergo on my front and it was a bit of a challenge to select and then put the veggies in the bag, and it got harder as the 3 bags filled. She was a good sport for most of it, even though I kept hitting her with wet leaves. I did eventually have to put her down when I got our lettuce as I just couldn’t manage to get the 4 giant heads of lettuce in the over full bags with her on me. I put her down and everything was much easier. Actually, I also put all the bags down to get the lettuce, everything was that full.
- If your child can stand/walk I recommend you have them walk with you instead of having them in a carrier, it will be a lot easier.
- If your child can’t stand yet you might want to bring a stroller or at least use a carrier with your child on your back.
– PYO tips
- Bring another bag for PYO – bring a solid bag (i.e. not one made of netting) since you will probably be putting small loose items in it.
- I used scissors and pint containers from the PYO stand. When I was done I emptied the snap peas into my bag and returned the pint containers and scissors to the stand. If you are able, bringing your own scissors and pint containers would mean you wouldn’t have to go back to the stand to return them (not the returning to it was that big of a deal).
- PYO can take a while, especially if you have more than one item to pick. You may want to consider breaking it up, in particular if you have a young child with you, since they will get antsy.
- Luckily, my daughter was pretty good in the fields. I have her a snap pea to munch on and she was content with that and playing with the flowers. Pretty soon though I know she’ll want to eat even more while we’re out there (can’t blame her!) and will probably want to run around more.
- If you are doing PYO, definitely wear clothes you don’t mind getting a little dirty, in particular if you will be picking up your child. It might have been a little worse because Sofie’s feet were wet from the grass, but I had lovely shoe marks on my pants from picking her up to move around the farm. But still it wasn’t that bad and you should get a little dirty when on a farm
- I had Sofie in crocs with socks on (since it was a little chilly), I figured I could just throw the socks in the wash and rinse off the crocs if they got yucky. I’ll probably get a pair of rain boots or something for her to wear to the farm too.