What goes into your CSA box?
Contents over the Course of the Season
Each box is ¾ bushel and contains 9 to 14 items. The contents of your box are an unfurling picture of time through the growing season. The flow is too complex to express well in text, but to impart a broad sense of what is in your box, throughout the season, we typically include one or two salad greens, such as lettuce, arugula and spinach; a cooking green, such as kale or chard; an allium, such as scallion, onion, leek, or garlic; and an herb, such as cilantro, dill or basil. Then, depending on the time of season, you receive brassicas, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower; roots, such as carrots, potatoes, radishes, beets, celeriac; fruiting crops, such as tomatoes, melons, sweet corn, peppers and eggplant. This is the short over-simplified list.
“Their garlic is pure GOLD!”
~ Facebook Review
At the bottom of this page is a chart of when our full range of crops is typically available. A chart is the best way to express this availability through time, since the crops overlap and sometimes they mature in two separate parts of the growing season, etc. Please carefully study the chart to develop a thorough picture of how your vegetables and herbs ripen throughout the season. Another way to anticipate what might be in your box week by week is to consult past seasons’ newsletters, which list the box contents of each week. Peruse the newsletters while you are at it, as they impart a dynamic picture of our farm in action throughout the season.
“I also love the weekly newsletter with updates from Farmer John and a little insight into life on the farm.”
~ Google Review
Quality and freshness of your vegetables and herbs are a top priority. The crops are quickly harvested in the fields, transported to the packing area where field heat is rapidly removed, then stored in coolers until they are packed in boxes and delivered in refrigerated trucks.
“The boxes are always well varied, packed full to the brim, and the food is fresh and delicious!”
~ Google Review
Ways to Customize Your Box
(If you are especially busy today, this is probably a good place to stop reading, as you have already been provided above with the box overview. The text below will take you backstage on the farm, offering you a picture of the farm planning and work behind the scenes that go into creating your box. Of course, the more you learn about the farm, the more informed you will be whether to join our CSA.)
Planning the Box
We design each week’s harvest in the winter, based on previous seed variety performance, shareholder preferences, and our overall sense of what will constitute a balanced composition of vegetables and herbs.
We consider each week in the season, and then plan backwards in time so that the vegetables and herbs that we plan to include in the box that week are seeded a sufficient number of weeks in advance to provide the desired contents for that particular week’s box. For instance, we seed most lettuce varieties in the greenhouse 7 weeks in advance of the week we want to include them in your box. We always grow a bit extra, just in case something goes awry.
Implementation of the Box—Long Term
For someone considering joining a CSA, the most pertinent question should probably not be “What will be in the box?” but “What will really be in the box?” or perhaps “Will I receive a full box?” It might be a bit rash to ask “Will there even be a box?” but I suspect there are some prospective shareholders who do wonder this. Managing so much crop diversity and volume into an exact number of lovely, pristine, full boxes week after week is quite a challenge, a challenge which we at Angelic Organics have been quite successful in meeting year after year.
“We’ve never had a bad experience with them over the years. And even better, it’s all organic. Give it a try!”
~ Yelp Review
You might wonder how we can plan out the boxes in the winter and have these crops ready for you in the right quantities at the right time throughout the season, so that your box is always full, and so there is not much left over that goes to waste after the packing is done. After all, we are a farm, not a factory; we have many variables to deal with when bringing a crop to fruition.
Know that we are a seasoned farm, with almost 3 decades of experience growing vegetables. Some of our farmhands and managers have been with Angelic Organics for 15 to 25 years. And Farmer John is a seasoned farmer, with 6 decades of farming experience. We’ve gotten good at getting things done on time. We have reliable equipment, solid infrastructure, knowledgeable mechanics, excellent machinery operators, competent facilities managers, extraordinary field workers, fabulously productive soil, ample irrigation, established procedures, and detailed plans in place to get things done on time so that the crops are ready in time and in the right quantities to fill your boxes.
“The box [is] always packed full”
~ Google Review
Maybe you think that with all that staff, equipment and infrastructure noted above, that we are a mega-farm, but we’re just a moderate sized farm that is dedicated to getting many things done in a timely way. We are at a scale where we can pay our workers a fair wage, and their hours are reasonable and predictable.
Implementation of the Box—Short Term
From Farm News, Week 15, 2016, by Farmer John Unpacking the Mystery of the Pack
“You might wonder how I decide what ends up in the box [each week]. Numerous considerations have to be taken into account simultaneously: Was the item in last week’s pack? Will the item store well over the next few days if we don’t put it in the box? Will shareholders be overwhelmed if we include 3 squashes instead of 2? (Some varieties of squash don’t store well, so it’s better to pack them than to try to store them on the farm for a later pack.) Will 2 peppers suffice for each box we pack this week, or would it be more considerate to put 4 peppers in half the boxes and then perhaps more tomatoes in the other half of the boxes?
“And, of course, there are the aesthetic considerations of the experience of our shareholders opening the box. (Shiny plastic is not part of the aesthetic plan, though sometimes a large plastic bag of greens will somehow end up near the top of the box.) An herb such as dill or sage will impart a lovely aroma as the box is opened. Peppers and tomatoes will add dashes of color and form. Kale or lettuce will add texture. Garlic will impart a slight aroma plus add visual interest.
I like designing the box and running the pack. It is an exercise in math, geometry, efficiency and aesthetics. I like imagining what will most delight our shareholders upon opening the box.”
“The folks at Angelic Organics know how to jazz up each box”
~ Google Review
Vegetable & Herb Availability Chart
Note about the chart: this chart was developed several years ago, and has not been updated since. Besides the items indicated in the chart as not grown by Angelic Organics, the farm does not currently grow green beans (except in the U-Pick Garden), chicories, collards, tetragonia, tarragon, parsnips, rutabaga, sunchokes, or sweet potatoes. We do grow a wide range of lettuces and also a variety of baby greens, such as arugula, mizuna, baby choi, chard, kale and occasionally pea shoots. Our apologies for not offering you an updated chart.