Welcome to the 2015 CSA season! The farm sounds of early morning bird songs help us close the door on another memorable winter, punctuated with wind, hail, floods, and unseasonably cold nighttime temperatures. Amazingly, the soil is ready to receive the seeds and plants.

The abundance of strawberries has spilled over into your CSA boxes for the first two weeks of the season. We hope you are enjoying them, and if the bounty is a bit too much, here are some basic instructions for storing and freezing.

 If you are planning to eat them, just set them in the refrigerator in an open container – the box they come in is fine. Then, wash as you need them. They will keep for several days that way.

If you would like to freeze them, then wash, cap the stem, slice and put in a small ziplock bag (I use quart bags, but you might want to use a pint bag). Be sure to get freezer bags, rather than sandwich bags.

Some people like to put a bit of sugar in with the berries when freezing. I don’t usually do that. But, if you like, adding a quarter cup is plenty to help the berries create a syrup for when they thaw.

Photo by Anna Baumann @ Lazy Eight Stock Farm
Photo by Anna Baumann @ Lazy Eight Stock Farm

You can also slice and place on a cookie sheet so that each berry freezes individually. Once frozen, place desired quantity in a bag. Because they are individually frozen, you can use them in smaller batches as needed.

For those new to having a CSA share, here’s an opportunity to perhaps be more flexible and creative with your weekly menus. We have found that the folks who are most satisfied with belonging to a CSA have made a commitment to prepare more of their own meals, are willing to try new foods and recipes, and to explore food preservation techniques.

To help with this task, we are very pleased to introduce fellow CSA’er Carly Cornelius’s blog We Eat For Real. Carly’s popular email posts have grown into a regular blog. Count on Carly to share recipe ideas that are simple, nutritious, and very tasty. Because she will be using her CSA share to create her weekly menus, we hope you will find that these recipes complement the ingredients you have on hand.

– Carla

Photo credit Carly Cornelius - weeatforreal.com
Photo credit Carly Cornelius – weeatforreal.com