Member profiles: Jim & Martha’s Market Share Madness
We’re kicking off the Winter CSA season with a series of member profiles. Seasonal CSA eating isn’t on everyone’s radar, but through this series we want to demystify membership and share our members’ passion for vegetables, eating fresh and the Happy Hollow Farm community.
Here, Jim and Martha tell us about their taste for seasonal, fresh vegetables and their use of Happy Hollow Farm's 'market share' package.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves and what brought you to Columbia?
Martha was born & raised here in Columbia, growing up in the same neighborhood as FarmHer Liz’s family. After a long career as an architect, she is now retired, though is busy with volunteer service on the City’s Board of Adjustment, as the Exec of the Mid-Missouri Chapter of the AIA, on the State Licensing Board for Architects & Engineers, and in other capacities.
Jim is originally from St Louis, met Martha while in graduate school, and they moved (back) to Columbia almost thirty years ago. He is semi-retired as a Conservator of Rare Books & Documents, and has been a writer and artist in the community for decades.
How did you learn about CSA, and what got you to join up?
Initially we’d heard about Liz starting Happy Hollow farm through the neighborhood grapevine. Coverage of her efforts in the local media re-alerted us and got us to look into what this CSA thing was all about. We liked the idea of supporting locally-sourced and sustainable agriculture, particularly one we had a personal connection to, so signed up.
What would you say are the key benefits of joining Happy Hollow Farm’s CSA?
Jim has been an enthusiastic gardener ever since we moved to Columbia, but for the last few years has concentrated on growing his own heirloom tomatoes and super-hot habanero peppers. We’d hit the Farmer’s Markets occasionally, but hadn’t really integrated buying locally-grown produce into our regular marketing. We figured that joining HHF would be a great motivator to make that a regular part of our lives and eating habits. And it has proven to do just that.
Some people worry about how they’ll adapt to CSA eating- how have you found it?
Well, this is why we decided to go with a "Market Share", and it has given us a great deal of additional flexibility. Since we usually have our own crop of tomatoes, we can pass those by when we have a good yield of our own. And we tend to travel a fair amount, so those weeks when we’re gone we don’t have to worry about having to find someone to pick up and use our "share". Lastly, being a little older and a tad stuck in our ways, we like the ability to pick an choose what items we get each week we are here.
So the "Market Share" is perfect for us. We tend to set out our dinner plans week to week, and we can always select those items we want and know that we’ll use. This way we get to enjoy the fantastic freshies, support a environmentally-minded local enterprise, and know that little or nothing is going to go to waste.
What are your top tips for new members?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! We weren’t sure how well joining a CSA would work for us, but in talking with Liz we found out about the "Market Share" option, and how it would work.
The same principle applies to asking about unusual produce you might see at the market or in your share box. Don’t know what to do with that unusual-looking veggie? Ask! Everyone who works with HHF is friendly and helpful, willing to share their knowledge and give you tips on getting the best results from your produce. Even being a tad stuck in our ways we’ve broadened our culinary horizons thanks to trying new things from this great CSA.
What’s your favorite vegetable, and can you recommend a recipe for it?
I’ve really come to love the "spicy greens" as an addition to my almost daily lunch salad. And for the last couple of years I’ve put up a goodly amount of garlic scape pesto, but using pistachios instead of pine nuts. I make it up, then freeze half-pint jars that I can enjoy all year round.
Happy Hollow Farm’s 8-week winter CSA is a great way to explore the benefits of eating the CSA way.