CSA Eating

There is a learning curve to eating locally and seasonally, so give yourself and your family the time to figure it out. It's worth learning because it can save you time and money, make you a more creative cook, and teach you to appreciate your food more as you savor the delicious quality of produce at it's peak of flavor when it's in season.

As I look at recipes, I automatically adjust them according to what is in my refrigerator and cupboard. I've learned to cook according to what I have available. As you learn to assess what you need to eat first in your refrigerator, you cut down on waste, and as you learn how to substitute what you have on hand for the ingredients in the recipe, you cut down on trips to the grocery store. This allows you to be both frugal, and lazy, two of my best (or at least favorite) qualities.

I would never choose a recipe calling for aspargus in the fall or winter because I now know it isn't available locally, but perhaps the other ingredients in the recipe would go well with the produce that is in season. Then, when asparagus comes in season in the spring, we gobble up as much as we can, knowing we must get our fill before it's gone. The anticipation of revisiting those delicious recipes we tried the previous year, as each week brings different produce into season, makes eating--and life--so much more exciting.

If you are feeling challenged with all the fresh produce and how to make the CSA way of eating fit in your life, let us know. We are happy to share our knowledge, and we have members who have been in since our inception, and they have many years of experience to share with you. Join our Fair Shares Facebook group, or request a Member Mentor who can personally work with you and make suggestions to help you figure it all out.

We're THAT kind of CSA--the kind who puts the Community into Community Supported Agriculture.

Tip: Mushroom Handling Tips

Mushrooms need to be kept cold in a breathable bag, so store them in the fridge in the paper bag they come in. Shiitake mushrooms have a tough stem, so remove that and save it in the freezer for stocks. Oyster mushrooms are all edible, except for the dirty little bit at the "root." Oyster mushrooms are more...Read more


Del Carmen has been a vendor for Fair Shares since 2009. We have developed a quality relationship based on trust. Our communications have been seamless. In addition, Fair Shares and its members have been great marketers for our products.  As a (very) small business, we are unable to advertise or market our products, so we have to rely on word of mouth.  Many of our customers are, were, or know Fair Shares members who have recommended our products.

Del Carmen has also benefitted from valuable ideas for use of existing products and suggestions in product development from the Fair Shares community.  I go to them for feedback, knowing I will get good, reliable and useful information.

We thank you, Fair Shares, for your support and commitment to del Carmen. We wish you much continued success.  After all, your success also helps the success of del Carmen and other local vendors and farmers.

Estie Cruz-Curoe, del Carmen Beans, St. Louis, MO