How long have you been a member with Three Sisters CSA Community Farm?
I'm not sure – it's been several years. I can't remember exactly, five or six?
What is your dropsite? Or for home delivery: What part of Southeastern WI do you live in?
Have you ever met Jeff and/or Kelly in person?
Yes I have met both of them. They were very nice and friendly, and I guess just that they seemed really genuine and dedicated to their farm. They were so passionate about how they wanted to grow good food.
In three words or phrases, how would you describe the experience of seasonal eating you have through your CSA share?
Always sad when the season is over.
Excited when it starts - even though there are some weeks that I'm not as good at cooking, and finding ways to use the food and make sure we eat it is a little more work. However... when the tomatoes start coming, I put them out on the counter and they don't last, they are just gone. The carrots are eaten immediately. And I just made a batch of ratatouille and it's delicious.
When other people ask you what it’s like to be a CSA member or why you do it, what do you usually say?
I think my first reason is to support my local farmers is they are a local business and we like to support that. I like knowing where my food comes from and I do really love the Three Sisters CSA. The food is amazing and Jeff and Kelly are super great, but I LOVE the U-Pick option.
There are just certain foods that we just wouldn't eat as much and I hate being wasteful. I work hard to not waste food, so I'm going to get more of something I know we all like rather than try and figure out how to use these beets that we don't like as much.
Other people often say things like, “What would I do with all the food?” or “We don't like this or that”, and that's what makes Three Sisters CSA so unique and wonderful.
What is your favorite CSA food item?
It's tomatoes right now. You cannot beat a fresh grown tomato. I also love the carrots, they taste so much better. But the caprese salads and BTS are on the regular rotation right now – anything we can put the fresh tomatoes in.
I also love the garlic scapes, which was something I didn't know existed before I had a csa. That's been the one big fun thing I didn't know about and now get really excited about when it's that time of year. I usually make a pesto.
Is it a regular basil pesto with garlic scapes instead of garlic cloves? Or is it a scape pesto?
It's pretty garlicky so it's more of a scape pesto with basil, rather than the other way around.
Is there a CSA food item that most confounds or stumps you when it comes to cooking or eating, or used to before you knew what to do with it?
Kohlrabi. We tried eating it raw and I tried roasting it and...maybe we just don't love it. That's the one thing I get every year and it sits in my fridge the longest.
What is your favorite thing about being a member of Three Sisters Community Farm?
I get fresh veggies every week. I don't have to think about going to the grocery store for vegetables, or what kind of vegetables to buy.
What about being a CSA member is most important to you?
I like that I can say I'm supporting a small farmer when I know that farming is hard work. We probably don't pay enough for all the hard work they do and for what we get. I'm very appreciative of them and I want to keep them in business.
What’s the most delicious meal you have had recently?
The ratatouille I made last night was really good. I was waiting to make it. It's the time of year when I get the zucchini and eggplant in the box and it's kind of a ritual I do every summer. I made that and mixed in my garlic scape pesto and it was fantastic.
What is your favorite place to have a meal? (Restaurant, your backyard, a friend’s house etc.)
In the summer on the back porch. We don't get to be outside a ton, living in Wisconsin, and just eating outside is great. My backyard has nice plants and fresh air. And I don't have to clean up the table – that's another bonus!
What about in the winter?
I wouldn't pick a place, but just say that I do love sharing a meal with friends. At someone's house or going out.
What is one thing that is bringing joy into your life these days?
Hanging out with my family is always number one. Being able to do that outside – we're going camping this weekend.
Who is in your family?
My husband and I have three kids, ages 13, 11, 8.
What is one thing that is giving you pause, or reason for concern?
I just think the divisiveness of everything these days. Everyone thinks they are right and no one can listen to other people when they disagree. It seems to be breeding a lot of hate and anger.
Zucchini or Cucumber?
Cucumber. I just think they are a little more versatile. You can eat them in salads or plain or with dip – they are kind of like a chip. I eat them with guacamole.
Yes! cucumbers with guacamole is delicious. When I'm really trying to eat healthy that's what I eat.
What is it like to have a CSA share with young kids?
I've always been a believer in making sure that the kids taste different foods. Because if they don't they're going to be picky. For example, I made this ratatouille and my youngest son is kind of picky – or more than I would like – and he ate the ratatouille. He didn't like the eggplant, but he ate the dish and that surprised me.
I think they CSA gives them the opportunity to eat a lot of vegetables. My kids get excited about the box because they love the carrots and cucumbers and tomatoes and lettuce, and in the spring they start asking “When are we getting that box again?”
Is there anything you would like to share about seasonal eating, local food, CSA membership or anything else related to these topics that you have never had the chance to say?
I just think if you're already buying those veggies at the store you should just do a CSA. Up front the cost may seem expensive, but if you break it down I bet it would be the same price as at the grocery store. And even if it's $5 more, who cares? Because you are supporting a local business and getting produce that is so fresh.
Jeff Schreiber has been farming organically for 10 years. In 2011 he started Three Sisters Community Farm with his wife, Kelly.