A new service helps CSA members cook their veggies

Lots of people think about joining a CSA but decide not to because they are intimidated by the idea of keeping up with all those veggies. Or they leave their CSA because they feel guilty about wasting their CSA produce.  Then there are thousands of families who are CSA members, but struggle with knowing how to integrate all the produce into their daily meals.

Local Thyme, a CSA menu planning service, opened last spring to solve these problems.  It is founded by Personal Chef Patricia Mulvey, an editor of From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm Fresh Seasonal Produce, and the about to be published Farm-Fresh and Fast cookbook, and Laura Gilliam, a gluten-free cook and organic gardener who specializes in vegetable preservation. Pat and Laura are passionate about helping people eat healthier, supporting local farms, and helping families learn how to incorporate fresh, seasonal vegetables into their busy lives.

Local Thyme is offering customized meal plans with tested recipes and a shopping list for each box a CSA delivers over the course of the growing season.  There are vegetarian, omnivore and gluten-free meal plans, all designed to use every vegetable in each box. In addition to full menu planning, Local Thyme also offers a basic membership to farms that includes newsletter recipes, access to their website’s local seasonal recipes and cooking resources, vegetable identification and storage database.

While recipe websites are abundant on the Internet, none of the chef-tested websites are focused on local seasonal produce, and none are focused on the kinds of produce grown by most CSA’s. FoodNetwork.com has 4 kohlrabi recipes, Epicurious has 14, Local Thyme currently has over 60 and we are adding more each season. And our recipes are truly seasonal – we match ingredients that are seasonally available, unlike most cooking websites, that will publish recipes calling for out-of-season vegetable pairings, such as asparagus and tomatoes.

What people are saying about Local Thyme:

Wholesome Harvest Farmer Chris Zastrow:

“Local Thyme is an awesome value added resource for my farm. I don’t know whether a recipe is going to work, I’m a farmer, not a chef. So having these experts available to my members means I don’t have to waste time looking for recipes, I can do what I want to do — be in my fields working. And my members get great recipes that work from real chefs. AND they don’t call me anymore at 6pm to ask “what should I do with this kohlrabi” What a load off!”

Keewaydin Farm’s Rufus Hauke:

“Pat and Laura are so creative, and understand how to cook their way through a box of veggies. Partnering with Local Thyme has been a no-brainer for me, my members have loved it and are more likely to re-up with me because they are wasting fewer veggies.”

King’s Hill Farm’s Jai Kellum:

“When I share recipes in my newsletter, I tend to go to the same kinds of things over and over. Local Thyme has a fresh new perspective, and offers recipes from so many different cuisines. Things I would never have thought of, but that I love to make now. I love their concept and their website is beautiful”

Cassie Noltnerwyss writes on Crossroads Community Farm’s website:

“We have partnered with Local Thyme to help (our members) make the most out of (their) farm share – their website is a great resource for local seasonal recipes, menu plans, and cooking tips.  The owners are talented chefs with years of experience creating recipes for locally grown veggies.  They prepare custom menus for the contents you receive in your Crossroads CSA veggie box… Check out their site! “

Member Beth Rogers:

“This idea is genius! I am joining a CSA for the first time so that I can use this website!”

Member Karla Knobel:

“Local Thyme has saved my life this summer!  I work til 5ish, pick up my veggie box, and by the time I get home my kids are HUNGRY and not pleasant… The recipes are EASY, TRUSTWORTHY and DELICIOUS. I’ve used every vegetable every week and my husband is even involved!  What more could you ask for- another wife or a 36 hour day??”

Member Connie Pfluger:

“I am so pleased that our CSA farm is partnering with Local Thyme.  Local Thyme is a great service – so convenient, such a time-saver and the recipes are quick and delicious . Local Thyme works like a logical extension of the farm – plant, tend, harvest, box, cook, eat.”

The website is up and ready for members – www.localthyme.com. Or call 608-334-9067.

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