My CSA Day at Riverbend Farm

I recently had a chance to help the great team at Riverbend Farm in Delano, MN pick and pack their weekly CSA/farmshare harvest (they produce 80 shares each week). Riverbend is a terrific, well-respected farm, which provides foods to many local Twin Cities restaurants, including the Birchwood Cafe, Common Roots, Corner Table, and many others. Here are the photos I took, along with a few notes from the day.

When I arrived at the farm at about noon, the day was slightly chilly and the crew was nowhere to be seen. I found them hiding out just past a 20 acre field, beside this truck. When I caught up with Greg Reynolds, owner of the farm, he handed me rubber bands and a pair of clippers, then showed me how to pick arugula.

After the arugula was picked, we took the entire collection of produce over near the barn, where it was washed and prepared for packing.

When Greg left to write the weekly newsletter, I definitely felt like the old guy. The crew put together 80 boxes, one for each share...

We finished washing the produce, laying out the boxes, and preparing the food for packing. Several people weighed one pound bags of super delicious snow peas, while the rest of us got things ready for the assembly line.

Here's a picture of the crew,  happily packing 80 CSA boxes in under an hour. From left, Jennifer Condon, Jolyne Pommeroy, Erik Vangsnes, Kari Khalil, and Nate Okey-Wernimont.

And here's a picture of me, proudly packaging bundles of bok choy.

Finally, the boxes were packed and stored for delivery to the Twin Cities the next day. Here's what my box looked like when I opened it up at home.

I left Riverbend tired, but exhilarated. I'd had a great day - the team was fun, the weather was great, and I scored a box of the tastiest greens of all time. As a CSA member (of Harmony Valley Farm), I was really glad to see how the process works, and I'm hoping to do it again someday. I'd recommend it to anyone, especially if you're part of a farmshare.