In addition to being a Three Sister's CSA member, Linsey is the creative force behind the Three Sisters Community Farm logo. She also designed our CSA essetials booklet. She is owner and founder of Third Sector Creative.
Alissa How long have you been a member with Three Sisters CSA Community Farm?
Linsey Since the very beginning – six or seven years. I followed them from Wellspring, which is where I got to know them. When I knew they were heading off to do their own thing and I said I’m going to follow them.
What is your drop site? Or for home delivery: What part of Southeastern WI do you live in?
I’m part of the lucky crew that gets it delivered right to my front door. I live in East Tosa.
Have you ever met Jeff and/or Kelly in person?
Yes I have, many times.
If yes, what’s one thing you remember?
There are so many things – I love their passion. There’s a real desire to serve the world through this stewardship they are doing and to serve their members. I love that that is what’s driving them - making really good choices for people and for the earth. And, they’re just…such a sweet couple! I’m thinking about the very first time when I went out to Wellspring to work, and I think Kelly was an intern, and there’s just this warmth and friendliness about her, she was just enjoying so much what she was doing. They are just really good people
In three words or phrases, how would you describe the experience of seasonal eating you have through your CSA share?
Connected to the season.
Nourishing, because it was just picked a day ago.
The variety – the way it forces you to be responsive in your cooking to what is available.
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 love it because it’s like getting a weekly present, like “ooh, what’s in there?” It really is this gift that I get every week. I feel much more connected to the reality of our food system, just by participating in the CSA. And I have greater appreciation and understanding of the work that goes into delivering that beautiful gift every week. And much more of a desire to use everything that is in the box. And there’s a sense of appreciation that I have for the food, in the off-season my produce comes from Outpost and I do all I can to choose local sources, but there’s something about the connection to Kelly and Jeff, and knowing the work that goes into it that gives the CSA produce a greater value.
What are your three favorite CSA food items?
Tomatoes are so good. I love the lettuces and I love the potatoes – the are so good. It’s very hard to narrow down.
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?
Going back in time…it was things like kohlrabi, rutabagas, root vegetables that just weren’t totally in my wheel house and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to embrace them. Especially having grown up in, not the most adventurous food home, my mom was like a “processed food fanatic”. So there was a lot of new stuff that was presented to me when I started with the CSA. Those root vegetables with the long names.
You powered through…I did, and learned to love all these things. Like I love kohlrabi now. And that was one of the “what the hell is this?” vegetables.
What do you do with kohlrabi? I love eating it raw, with some dip of some sort.
Do you have a “box unpacking ritual” each week?
I take everything out and I put it out on my kitchen island, and just admire everything really. And then I refer to the list, the “how to store everything” list so I make sure that I’m going to get the greatest life out of it.
This idea of planning your menu around what will perish first totally hit home for me – it’s intuitive but to be intentional about it is really important, so for example if there’s a lot of greens the first from the box will be a big salad.
What is your favorite thing about being a member of Three Sisters Community Farm?
For me it’s just knowing that for a big chunk of the year – at least 20 weeks and I also do the fall share – knowing that I’m supporting what I believe to be the best way to access food. It feels like I’m making – for my set of values – the most right decision 20 weeks or more out of the year. And it’s the most nutrient-dense food and the best all the way around - for our farmers, for our family and for the earth, for the soil.
How does spending time actually on the farm change your experience?
It is just a fantastic way to spend a morning. It deepens that connection – everything I mentioned that I love about the CSA, it deepens that even more. Seeing the land and actually helping – pulling weeds and then eating strawberries afterward and talking with fellow CSA members who are always incredibly smart people doing interesting things in the world. It deepens that sense that I’m part of a community.
What’s the most delicious meal you have had in recent memory?
Well, it’s been a long winter…I would say comfort food with roasted chicken that I made at home with mashed potatoes and a delicious salad with citrus and walnuts in it. That’s a go-to for me because it always delivers.
What’s the strangest, or most memorable, thing you have ever eaten?
One of my most memorable meals was the first time – it was maybe 15 years ago – I was invited to a dinner that had multiple portions in small courses, like a tasting menu. There were things on it I had never heard of before, there were cheeks of some sort – what kind I can’t remember – just the term cheeks turned me off at the time but they were delicious. It was a new and fun way to eat. It was at Hinterland in Milwaukee.
Also farm dinners – some friends of ours (Pam Percy and Marty Hintz) have a much smaller little urban farm and they host farm dinners in the summer that always sell out. That’s my favorite thing in the world, those experiences.
What is your favorite place to have a meal?
My backyard. I love summer meals in my backyard. A meal that just goes on for three hours with friends handing out in the back yard is my version of heaven.
What is one thing that is bringing joy into your life these days?
I just recently organized an art show with my extended family. It’s up through the end of June at the Jazz Gallery in Riverwest. That was a really joyful experience – the making of the art and having a way to connect – there were 15 of us in the show and it was really fun to bring everyone together around something outside of the usual family stuff.
What is one thing that is giving you pause, or reason for concern?
Our administration and corporate leaders being in denial about climate change and the effect of their actions on the environment and natural systems.
Spinach or Arugula? And why?
Spinach, because I have more uses for spinach. I haven’t expanded my ways to use arugula. I use spinach in all kinds of things.
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?
Being a CSA member is the single thing that has widened my food experience. As a cook it has made me much more intuitive and adventurous. And I credit that box of food arriving every week with that total shift in thinking. So embrace it!
Recipes | Linsey's dinner recipe from last week's share.
Linsey: I'm a bit of an improviser when it come to cooking, so here's my framework:
Spring Risotto with Asparagus, Mushrooms and Pea Shoots + Green salad
(based on Risotto Bianco from "The Art of Simple Food" by Alice Waters)
1. Steam 6 spears of asparagus to desired tenderness, chop into approx 1" pieces and set aside.
2. Slice and sautée 6-8 mushrooms and set aside.
3. Make the risotto:
2 T butter
1 small onion finely diced
1.5 cups risotto rice (I use arborio)
5 cups broth (veg or chicken)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 T butter
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
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