Monday, November 8, 2010

Guide to Ann Arbor: How to find your perfect CSA

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is the coolest-looking green we've gotten in our CSA share from Sunseed Farm to date. Sometimes I'm tempted to chop off the stems and bundle them inside licorice packaging to trick people (okay, kids) into thinking they're getting some of those weird-flavored Twizzlers. HaHA! They'd never see it coming!

In other news, I figured it was high time for me to give a shout out to the lovely layday that helped us find our perfect CSA match, Kim Bayer. Kim does all sorts of food-related things in Washtenaw County, and the two most useful things for us have been 1) her blog, the Farmer's Marketer and 2) her CSA-finding service.

Last spring, I was browsing The Internet, minding my own business, when FLABLAM! I came across a link to Bayer's CSA-matching service via the Brines Farm website.

Josh and I had wanted to jump on the CSA bandwagon for some time, but we were pretty timid about it. I mean, come on, it's not exactly normal to pay somebody a huge chunk of change and then just trust them to show up with your food every week. What food would we get? We're pretty adventurous (meaning I'm very adventurous and Josh is decently adventurous, but I bump him up to my level by forcing him to try stuff), but what if we get vegetables shaped like rocks? How do you cook that? And we're leaving for most of the summer — would it even be worth having?

Thankfully, I followed the link once I saw it, not only because I was curious but because I had interviewed Bayer a couple of times (one and two) when I first started writing for The Voice. I simply e-mailed her to tell her I was interested, and $25, one questionnaire and a few days later, Josh and I sat down with her at Café Verde to figure out what we were going to do.

The questionnaire was about 15 questions long, most of which I wouldn't have even thought if it weren't for Bayer's suggestion, ex. Are you especially interested in extra u-pick produce (for canning and preserving, for example)? It took us about 20 minutes to fill out the questionnaire, which we did before meeting with her. After just one hour with Bayer, we had two CSA ideas, one for our mostly absentee summer and one for the fall, which happens to be Sunseed.

I'm pretty convinced that if we had taken on this project ourselves, we'd be $25 richer but hours poorer. Doing it this way saved us tons of frustration. Believe me, I am freaking thorough when it comes to things like this. Anyone who has seen me scour for a new apartment can attest to that. But Bayer knows way more about the Ann Arbor food scene than I do, and judging from the interviews I'd had with her before, taking her word for it was a no-brainer.

Obviously, we could fill our pants with how much we love Sunseed, so the Kim the (CSA) Matchmaker did her job well. If there's anyone else out there thinking about doing a CSA, please know that she comes highly recommended. And tell her Quinn and Josh sent you.

1 comment:

  1. Wow - what a nice testimonial. Thanks Quinn! I'm so glad you're loving your CSA. ;)