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Why did join the Owl's Nest Farm CSA? I had a CSA membership with Radix before & decided to try Owl's Nest when the farm transitioned ownership. I'm so glad that I did! I think this will be my 3rd (?) summer with the ONF market CSA. I love getting to pick produce at the market each week, its one of my favorite parts of my summer weekend routine. & I love the handmade wooden bowl that Liz's dad made!

What was your favorite fruit, veggie, and/or herb from CSA this year? Spaghetti squash! I was always a little nervous about how to cook with it but it quickly became one of my favorites this summer. I've been using it as a noodle substitute with eggplant parmesan.

What tips do you have for folks who might be trying a CSA for the first time? I really like the market CSA because of the flexibility in the types of produce that I receive. I've done 'traditional' pre-boxed CSAs and enjoyed them but have also ended up with like 10 rutabagas I'm not going to use. I like knowing that I can pick up staples as well as try something new. It's also fun to have the morning trip to look forward to and to interact with the farmers and other shoppers. My dog loves the occasional kale or sweet potato treat she finds under the tables!



Why did join the Owl's Nest Farm CSA? I've always been interested in the ways I can support alternatives to the industrial food system, though for a while as an organizer I thought I was too busy to commit to the cooking that having a CSA would require of me. The half share ended up being a perfect fit! I get enough vegetables to keep me cooking over the course of a two week period without being too overwhelming, and I'm so glad to have so many more fresh nutritious veggies in my diet.

What was your favorite fruit, veggie, and/or herb from CSA this year? What's the name of the purply string beans? I found a great recipe with tofu that made for great dinner or lunches. Getting string beans that are so fresh and delicious has allowed me to finally forget the overcooked bland cafeteria beans of our childhood.

I also love having salad greens around! I rarely buy them from the store because I'd found myself so uninspired by a basic green salad, but I ended up learning new dressings and really enjoying snacking on salad much more than I would have thought.

What tips do you have for folks who might be trying a CSA for the first time?

Consider the half-share! I am not skilled enough at cooking and meal planning to turn fresh veggies into a meal every single night, but getting it every other week meant I had more time to plan it out. I really enjoyed finding new recipes and cooking old favorites based on what was in the share.

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Caitlin and Toby

Why did join the Owl's Nest Farm CSA? Totally inspired by Liz and the team's ambition with the farm, I joined Owl's Nest in their first year. My boyfriend Toby and I were looking for a CSA to join to incorporate more seasonal, local produce into my cooking. Joining Owl's Nest allowed us to do that while also supporting an inspired, passionate team in the process! I also loved that they were growing so many varieties of greens that I'd never tried before (and now LOVE).

What was your favorite fruit, veggie, and/or herb from CSA this year? Oy, this is like picking a favorite child... I'd have to say watermelon radishes - they're gorgeous and so delicious. And they cool your whole body down in the summer. The pea shoots are also a staple for us - I'd head down to the market extra early sometimes just to be sure we got some. And rosemary, which we find a way to put in nearly everything. The ground cherries are also something I look forward to - I can't find them anywhere else!

Tell us about any new veggies you tried in 2017. I started cooking with tomatillos more last year when they became a regular feature of the market table. One of my best friends is from San Diego. He grew up eating them all the time and taught me his family recipe for roasted tomatillo salsa. I could literally drink it - so fresh and full of flavor.

Please share your favorite recipe(s). Carrot Dhal from In My Bowl - I swap in kale for spinach here. This Lentil Salad from My New Roots is an amazing base for whatever seasonal veggies and greens you get from Owl's Nest. And this Black Rice, Kale and Eggplant Pilaf from Green Kitchen stories is another favorite! Clearly I can't get enough lentils in my life.

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Why did join the Owl's Nest Farm CSA? I'd never been a part of a CSA, but I was intrigued by the prospect of getting fresh, locally-grown produce delivered to my neighborhood. I love to cook, and I knew the variety of produce Owl's Nest promised would push me to cook more, save money by eating out less frequently during the week, and encourage me to try new recipes. (It didn't hurt that the founders of Owl's Nest were good friends of mine, too.)

What was your favorite fruit, veggie, and/or herb from CSA this year? This is a tough one. I'm a big fan of the collards and chard, which I often prepare in a similar fashion (garlic, shallots, red pepper flakes, apple cider vinegar and a pinch of brown sugar in a skillet with bacon fat), but 2017 was the year of the tomato for me. For the first time last spring and summer, I grabbed as many seconds tomatoes as I could carry and made big batches of fresh pasta sauce that I jarred and shared. (My roommate and shareholder buddy Alex gets the assist for peeling and seeding on multiple occasions.) It made for countless quick weeknight dinners, and the fresh, sweet flavors of the tomatoes produced a nice bright sauce.

What tips do you have for folks who might be trying a CSA for the first time? Do it! It might feel a little overwhelming at first as you get used to the schedule and start planning meals around the produce you're getting every (or every other) week, but for me, cooking with fresh ingredients that are grown just a few miles up the road by someone I know, makes eating homemade meals so much more enjoyable. Owl's Nest gives you enough options to pick and choose the things you like (all the cucumbers for me, please), and also let's you experiment with some funkier produce that might be new to you (black radishes! komatsuna!). The recipe suggestions in the weekly newsletter also help you get beyond salads and stir-fry. I know I could eat stir-fry every night and never get bored, but it's fun to mix it up.

Go visit the farm, too. When you walk through the rows of veggies that you'll be eating a week or two later, you feel even better about knowing where your food comes from.



I’m Lindsay, a DC resident and nonprofit consultant. I work on projects aimed at growing our local food economy. I can’t think of a farmer or local food business owner in the DMV who I’ve met that I haven’t been in absolute awe of.

The margins are generally low - sometimes terrible - but the passion and commitment is something else.

Last year, I signed up for Owl’s Nest Market-Style Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share after 10 or 12 blissful years of shopping at any number of great farmers markets.

I’m not shy to say that I’m sticking with Liz when we have SO MANY INCREDIBLE FARMERS to buy local food from. Here’s why:

  • It doesn’t get any fresher unless you grow it yourself. When it’s produced this close to where you live, it’s fresh, tasty, and it lasts longer in the fridge if it has to sit a bit.
  • Delicious product grown with us and the environment in mind. Tender collards, sprouting broccoli: OMG.
  • It’s an incredible deal and flexible. If I miss a market here and there, it’s a long season and there’s plenty of time to use my market credit when I can.
  • Great customer and member experience. From staying connected during the pick-up to the weekly newsletter, Owl’s Nest is a great communicator. Also, when your CSA members will write blog posts for you, you’re doing something right!

And now, here’s a few wonky bits.

  • I can reliably talk to a farmer every week. If it’s not Liz, it’s one of her team. It’s helpful to be able to follow the experience of one farm throughout the season while talking and buying from plenty of others too.
  • Also, farmers receive a decreasing share of the food dollar yet they’re the reason why we eat. So are distributors who handle our food, but when there are also options like a CSA to buy direct and get great food, I’m going to do that too.
  • Finally, data from the U.S. Census of Agriculture shows that overall beginning farmers, female farmers, and farmers of color, make less money than their white male counterparts who comprise most of our country’s farmers. (This should not be interpreted to mean that these guys are striking it rich.)

I gladly spend my money with all kinds of farmers and hope you will too. But I’m mindful of the data. If my money can do its infinitesimal part in increasing farm success for a broader diversity of farmers, I’m contributing to broadening opportunity, understanding, appreciation, and success of agriculture as a whole. This is desperately needed.

Mostly I’m returning to Owl’s Nest because Liz is a great farmer and I know I’m making a smart investment in my health. Supporting our local economy and a young, female farmer’s business is an added bonus.

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Melissa and Dave

Why do you love Owl's Nest? We love Owl's Nest Farm because it's so accessible--both in proximity to DC, and how Liz really makes an effort to answer all of our questions about the veggies and the farm (and we have a lot of questions!). Being able to go to the farm and volunteer, and knowing that some of the seeds we planted might end up on our dinner table someday makes everything taste even better.

Favorite Recipe: No-Cook Tomato Sauce. Perfect for using your tomatoes the day you get them. It's so simple that we were skeptical about how good it could be, but it is delicious--it really tastes like summer. It's one of our go-to meals when it's too hot to cook.

New veggies we tried in 2017: We really enjoyed making "kohl-slaw-bi" (kohlrabi slaw) with the kohlrabi we got in our CSA in 2017. It's a crazy looking vegetable but it has a great crunch and is a great addition to lots of recipes!

Tips for folks who might be trying a CSA for the first time: Before the season starts, identify some staple recipes that you can repurpose for lots of different vegetables. For us, those are stir-fries, fritattas, and pestos. You can make them throughout the season with almost any combination of vegetables you get from your CSA pick-up that week. In the past couple years we've discovered you can make pesto with most greens and herbs (carrot top pesto is one of our favorites), and pesto freezes well so you can continue enjoying the CSA long after the season has ended. It's just further proof that you shouldn't be scared of trying greens or veggies with which you aren't familiar.

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David and Rae

What was your favorite fruit, veggie, and/or herb from CSA this year? Dave really enjoyed the sunchokes, but he's insane. Rae couldn't get enough of the eggplant, especially when it was in prime season. Our kitten Nutmeg really liked the chard (see photo).

What tips do you have for folks who might be trying a CSA for the first time? Pesto, pesto, pesto. Leave no green or root vegetable top behind. Also, it helps to adopt a cat who enjoys eating leafy greens.

Please share your favorite recipe(s). When you join a CSA, you're going to get a lot of chard. What to do with it? This. Seriously, it's amazing and so, so easy. Just make sure to use the chard before your cat eats it all.