…tell their stories!
Why We Buy From Eatwell Farm:
Here’s a small collection of how our members feel about their experience with our CSA. Read and enjoy . . .
Mary Kaye in Sacramento sent us the following email after a rainy day in January 2012:
“When we picked up our box last night I was too busy to do the usual ritual at the sink to prepare all of the wonders from our box for the coming week, so it sat on the counter until this evening when I had some time to attend to it. It has been a rather long week but there was no way I could let any of our bootie wilt because I was tired. As I pulled the veggies out I noticed how remarkably dirty everything was tonight and I remembered that it rained earlier this week. My mind wandered and I could see Jose and his team out in the rain harvesting despite being wet and cold and I thought how perfect it was that I had to put a little extra effort into my end of the deal. Standing at the sink washing the spinach for the third time, when I wanted to be in bed, I felt completely connected to the farm. My mind went from Jose in the fields and Nigel in the hospital and I felt part of a community. People that I may never meet but my community none-the-less. I also see that I am actually part of the harvest. If I don’t keep up my end of the deal this beautiful bounty won’t get to where it was intended. I love being a part of this very special community known as Eatwell. Thank you.”
“Okay Bay Area friends! If you’ve ever been curious, now’s the time. I’m always raving about my weekly box of produce, picked fresh and yummy from Eatwell Farm in Dixon, CA (just 65 miles away from SF – as opposed to the average 1500 miles your food would otherwise travel). Well, now’s the time to get in on the action. Eatwell has just expanded their CSA, and the summer bounty is starting to arrive.
Seriously, this food will change the way you cook, eat and enjoy vegetables and fruit. It’s amazing stuff. And you can be happy knowing that you are contributing not only to a great local family farm (Nigel, Frances and their twin boys feel like family to me) but also to sustainable agriculture and all the good things that come with that (improved water and soil quality,
no pesticides and other horrible-for-us chemicals, reduced landfill because of reduced packaging, reduced dependence on oil because of reduced food miles, and on and on!). And of course the best is biting into a carrot and realizing that you really do LOVE carrots, or that you’d actually rather have strawberries than cookies (okay, maybe not all the time, but definitely some of the time!), etc! This food tastes so much better because it is both organic and local – it is picked a day or two before you get it and so it’s picked ripe and flavorful, and it doesn’t have to travel on trucks and sit in ripening facilities, etc. Because of all this, it’s also more nutritious (yes, there are actual studies to prove this). And one of the many great things about Eatwell is that their newsletter has tons of recipes so that if you’re not quite sure what to do with some item, there’s sure to be a great way to cook it in the newsletter.
Please visit www.eatwell.com and check out their pick up locations – they are all over the place and there’s probably one within a mile of where you live or work. You can get delivery weekly or every other week depending on how many people you’re feeding and how much you cook. You can start with a trial subscription of 4 boxes for $108 (a little more if you also want tasty eggs with your basket!). One hundred-eight dollars for four weeks of amazing food! If it’s not for you after that, then you can simply not renew. Really hardly anything to lose! You can fill out an online application form or call Liz, the CSA manager, at 866-627-2465).”
Mari K. Mielcarski
Jared in San Francisco writes:
“I never knew how good I had it at Eatwell Farm until I talked to people who had other local, organic, seasonal food delivery boxes. The customer service is excellent; they return phone calls and emails quickly and they are very friendly. The produce we receive is very fresh and nothing comes wilted or old. If there is something that you, the customer, feels is sub-standard, Eatwell is quick to apologize, offer an explanation, and make up for it in the next box. I couldn’t be happier with them and I am glad to have them be a part of my healthy life style.”
Karin in Mill Valley recently sent us this email:
“I got my first box of the new cycle on Thursday. What a treasure! We missed our boxes sorely for the three week intermission. It is a wonderful anticipation again. It is like getting a surprise birthday present every week–that same tingle of mystery and anticipation. Thanks!”
Louise in Albany shares this experience from March 2009:
“When we initially joined the Eatwell CSA about 2 years ago, it just seemed like a nice way to get fresh fruits and vegetables. That was it – pretty simple.
Well, it’s actually become a pretty important part of our lives. It’s made us aware of what’s in season, and that’s something we now pay a lot of attention to. When Francesca’s class asked us to bring a favorite family dish to the holiday party, Francesca said, “Well, pesto is one of our favorites, but it’s winter, so we can’t bring that.” Considering that I never had pesto until my late 20s, and had no clue when it was in season, and she knows when it’s in season and how to make it, I’d say we’ve come a long way.
It’s made us cook in new ways with foods I’d never heard of, let alone knew how to prepared. We made the apple frissée salad mentioned in the newsletter last week & loved it. And I’m now the biggest champion of leeks, which I wrongly used to think could only get a little attention in potato leek soup.
We’ve definitely changed to eating a lot more local, in season food, and now, happily starting to grow some of it ourselves. I can’t say we’d get awards for being the strictest on fruits & veggies – bananas and mangos are still on our grocery list – but we try, and generally do pretty well. Aside from our weekly box, there a farmer’s market walking distance which is conveniently on Tuesdays – 4 days after our box arrives and we’re ready for more apples.
I think one of the biggest things though, is that seasonal ingredients are the usually at the center of our meal. We work around what we have and Francesca loves it. She understands that we don’t buy strawberries in winter, and she has good taste too. I got a red delicious apple at the Berkeley supermarket last week, which I cut up and put in her school lunchbox. The apple was barely touched, and I asked her why. She said it was too soft and didn’t taste good. I tried it and agreed – the Fuji apples we’ve been getting from you and at the Farmer’s Market are so much better. I’ll take those red “delicious” ones off the list. Francesca loves to help us cook and is immediately pulls up a stool at dinner time to help. The funniest part is that now Juliana, at 15 months old, is also trying to pull up a stool to stand and help too! She can drop some cheese into the quiche:)
So, just a note of saying thanks. The work everyone does at the farm, and the newsletters and blogs keeping us updated, are all things that we are truly thankful for.
Looking forward to strawberry days,
Janet in San Francisco shares these thoughts in December, 2009:
“I wanted to tell you that the cucumbers and the Poblano peppers this year were absolutely delicious. The cucumbers were the best I’ve tasted in years. No wax [on the cucumbers] was great, too! As to the peppers, the volume forced me to get used to them for everything. They were great! These are just two of the outstanding foods you provided for us this year.
I don’t read the blog, so you may have discussed this, but my best tool for washing the veggies is my salad spinner. In the past I resented such a large, single-use tool in my small kitchen, but now I use it for every dinner for cleaning any veggies – not just salad stuff. Pulling anything out of the water is easy even when I’m not spinning it dry.
Since I started getting your veggie box in 2004, the way we eat and cook has changed so much. We decide what to make based on what we get in the box rather than deciding what to make and then buying it. What you supply for us is incredible. I appreciate that you want our input but your choices are wonderful. Eating seasonally and locally is so important, even more now; and of course organically. And your newsletter is such an important part of this – educating and communicating with us – about the lives you lead, what’s happening on the farm and how much work goes into bringing us this food, and binding us together as part of your organization.
Thank you and bless you in this holiday season.
Muriel in Benicia sent us these words in January 2010:
“…let me say that a highlight of my week is to bring home all the nice produce from my box and put it all away with dreams of how I will use it during the coming days.”
In March 2010, she followed up with these words:
“Some feedback on this week’s box . . . I felt like I was making away with the family jewels when I opened the box yesterday. So many beautiful greens. After washing the spinach, I got to work making green garlic and leek risotto. I’ll use some of the spinach to make a stuffed leg of lamb and some to make a lovely salad with olives and goat/sheep’s milk feta. We love chard and are in heaven with the big bunch of Bright Lights Mixed. The mixed greens will go into a beef stir-fry with onions and mushrooms, and I will be making a vegetable pie with the cabbage and some of the eggs. We are so happy we joined your CSA.
I promise I will send some of these recipes soon.”
Michael and Linda in Martinez:
“Before Eatwell Farm, we shopped at a large organic market. It was pricey, and the veggies came from places far away. They didn’t last long or taste as good as those from your farm. We tended to buy the same things week in and week out – mostly because they were always there, in season or not. In addition there were so many other tempting non-food items in the store, we rarely spent less than $100 per week.
Now we get fresher food; it’s local and has great flavor. Add to that the bonus of strawberry days, tomato sauce days chili cook-offs and a great community of like-minded folks. We eat more fruits and veggies and what’s in season, using first what’s in the box, supplementing with the local farmers’ market, and finally, if we really really need it, we go to the regular market.
We enjoy our food a lot more thanks to you, and our pocketbook likes it, too.”
Kristen in San Francisco:
“I would say that I love being a part of Eatwell’s CSA because my children know what it means for something to be “in season” – they so look forward to strawberry season :)”
Marta and David in San Francisco:
“My husband and I talk about how we love “the Box” all the time. It has really changed the way we eat (for the better). The produce is so tasty and better than we can get even in the fancy shops like Whole Foods. We used to not buy the greens that we get in the box and didn’t know how to cook and enjoy them. Now that we’ve been introduced to chard and kale we eat them all the time. We’ve really changed our eating habits because of Eat Well and because of your well-written newsletter, we’ve learned so much about why this kind of farming is not just better for our hearts but why it’s better for the earth and our communities. We feel like we have a close connection to the people who grow our food.”
Christine and Peter from San Francisco (members since 2007):
“The best part of being a member of a CSA, and especially Eatwell, is the occasional worm that I find munching on my summer corn. Or the clumps of mud on my spinach that take 10 minutes to clean off. These things might seem like nuisances (or even a bit scary) to the grocery store produce consumer. To me, they are markers of fresh, unadulterated produce that has not passed through 10 middle men on its way to my house. After all, why eat anything that the little worm wouldn’t eat?”
Karen Peters, N.D., from Albany:
“As a naturopathic doctor, I recommend on a daily basis that the people I work with eat fresh, local and organic produce, and I’m often encouraging folks to increase their intake of leafy greens. Being a member of Eatwell CSA helps me practice what I preach and makes it easy by providing me with nutrient-dense, seasonal, whole foods every week. Having a box of whatever is fresh off the farm helps me include a great variety of foods in my diet, and the quality of the produce and eggs that I receive from Eatwell is one of my favorite things about being here in the Bay Area.”
Laurie from Albany wrote in June 2008:
“Thought you might enjoy this short piece my 14 year old son wrote for an English class assignment.
Fresh Fruit on Friday
Weekend comes. Joys of fruit both sour and sweet all through Saturday and Sunday. A dull Monday as school and less fresh goodies wait. School passes slowly, Monday, Tuesday, finally, it’s Wednesday. Thursday. Finally Firday comes, late that night, my mother arrives home. Smelling of sweat from the gym, and also like sweet fruit. Holding a big box full of greens and beans and fruit. The fruit, magnificent to see, better to eat. Oranges, strawberries, melon, cantaloupe, everything you can think of. Straight from a farm, the juiciest fruit, organic and wonderful. The box hits the table, and its broken apart as fast as it was put down. The fruit is placed out to see what we have. Oranges and cantaloupe. Yum. I can only imagine what the oranges tasted like. But my mother made me wait.
No fruit until tomorrow, it’s too late for a lot of sugar.
The next day comes, Saturday. Breakfast consists of pancakes, toast, orange juices, and at last, the oranges. Worth the wait of the night and the week. I taste the sweet juice of the orange. I east not one, nor two, but three of them. And now I wait again, until the next box, the next week, a new taste.”
From Robin in SF:
“I have to also send you a note of appreciation for the wonderful experience of being ‘part of the Eatwell Farm.’ The experience has opened our eyes to the changing need for and the responsibility of caring where our food comes from and all the intricacies that go with growing, nurturing, and harvesting produce (and chickens). You’ve done a superb job in educating us– from our visits during Strawberry Picking Saturdays to touring the grounds and meeting the chickens. I will never look at an egg quite the same way again!
Thank you again. [We] hope to make our way over to the Ferry Building some Saturday to partake in purchasing some of the grain. My son, Stewart, a picky eater, still remembers Nigel handing him a blade of wheat at the farm and encouraging Stewart to try it. Stewart indulged in Nigel’s invitation to take as much as he wanted, so he was still munching on some as we returned to our car to drive back to San Francisco that afternoon.
Please express to all our delight in your farm and made ‘city folk’ rural for a few years.”
From Patricia in San Francisco:
“We are enjoying our box very much every week. Unpacking it is a treat, with the air and energy from the land and farmers
slowly emanating in our kitchen, and even slower into our bodies and minds.
We are so grateful you are there to provide our food!”