A. T. Buzby is a familiar space at the Collingswood Farmers’ market. Theirs is always a beautiful display of NJ fresh fruits and vegetables. If you stop by their stand, look behind the overflowing baskets on the tables, you will see a stack of boxes. Inside each box is a variety of fruits and vegetables hand picked and chosen for Buzby CSA members. A half share.
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Martie Buzby, (wife of Eric Buzby, daughter-in-law of Dawn and Andrew Buzby) says people asked to be part of this venture. According to Martie, “they were looking for a closer connection to the source of their food”. The first year of the CSA had ten members, mostly friends says Martie. This year there are three hundred.
I have been a member of the A. T. Buzby CSA for a few years now. I sign up and pay in winter and for twenty weeks (May through October) during the market season, I pick up a box of NJ fresh fruits and vegetables. The selection is varied and fresh and wonderful. Some old favorites and some new things to try.
“Each week, the share consists of the best assortment of produce that is ready for harvest. Over the years, we have worked to balance the harvest so there is a nice variety each week for twenty weeks” explains Martie.
Again, according to Martie “the benefits include a great value on fresh produce, an opportunity to support local business, a way to help preserve farmland and a working family farm, a way to reconnect with the seasonal nature of food…”
There is a very small risk. If the season is poor everyone suffers the loss…farmer and CSA member. But, if the season is good there is an abundance of crops and you, as member, will get more than you anticipate.
Martie writes a corresponding blog that is full of recipes and she posts a photo of the share for the week so the member knows what to expect. The farm also has a Spring Open House where CSA members get a tour of the farm and can pick strawberries. In Fall they offer a wagon ride to their pumpkin patch and CSA members may pick a pumpkin.
I love all of A. T. Buzby’s fresh fruit and produce…their corn is incredible….their melons are sweet and delicious.
I buy a half share every year and pick up one box each week at the market. A whole share is two boxes.
Last week we had a family issue that needed attention so we only had time to pick up our share and, sadly, could not shop the whole market. One half share provided my husband and I with sufficient NJ fresh fruits and vegetables for the week.
If you’re on a budget or in a time crunch…A.T. Busby’s CSA is a wonderful way to experience NJ fresh produce. Twenty weeks. Five months of produce.
Stop by their stand at the market. See what they offer…and consider becoming an A. T. Buzby CSA member. You won’t regret it.
Here is Martie’s recipe for turnip shuffle…my two year old grandson loves it!
3 to 4 turnips, peeled and sliced ½ cup butter
1 ½ tsp. salt, divided 2 Tablespoons flour
½ tsp. sugar 2/3 cup milk
4 eggs, separated 3 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
1. Place turnips, ½ tsp. of salt and sugar in a saucepan; cover with water. Cover and cook until turnips are tender, about 15-20 minutes; drain well and mash (do not add milk of butter)
2. In another saucepan, melt butter; stir in the flour and remaining salt until smooth. Add milk; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Beat egg yolks in a small bowl; gradually stir in ½ cup hot milk mixture. Return all to pan cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in turnips; remove from the heat. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold into batter. Spoon into a greased small casserole dish. Sprinkle with bacon. Bake, uncover at 350 for 30 minutes or until golden brown.