CSA Behind the Scenes: Sorting Veggies

rainbow of peppersA couple of weeks ago I got a “promotion” at the CSA where I volunteer. Instead of delivering veggies to our customers, I’m now photographing and documenting the processes and sharing behind-the-scenes moments on the Vegetable Husband blog. It’s been really fun, and this week I showed up early to follow the team around while they sorted veggies.

Way back in 2008, I started as a vegetable sorter, and I have fond memories of sifting through huge boxes of local produce for our customers, so it was fun to jump back into that world for an afternoon. Vegetable Husband delivers on Wednesdays, which is the busiest day for Margie, the owner. Here’s how a typical Wednesday goes for her:

  • Wake up at the crack of dawn and visit farms to pick up big boxes of produce. Sometimes, Margie even gets to head out into the fields and help with the harvest!
  • Head back to VegHub HQ with the haul and unload.
  • Sorters arrive in the early afternoon and help prep the ~70 baskets and divvy up the veggies while Margie writes the weekly letter that goes out with each basket.
  • Sorting takes a couple of hours, and drivers start showing up between 2:30 and 3:30, depending on how early Margie was able to get back into town.
  • Margie and the drivers load baskets into the cars, and they take off on deliveries, where they drop off veggies and collect the empty baskets from the week before.
  • At the end of the day, Margie swoops all over town picking up the empty baskets, which she cleans out and gets ready so that we can start all over the next Wednesday!

Margie and her amazing office manager (and one of my dearest friends), Laura Louise, map out routes for everyone each week. The goal is to have folks dropping food at houses between HQ and where they live, so that no one’s burning too much gas driving all over town.

My goal with this project is to highlight all of the little moments in this process that make Vegetable Husband special. The whole operation is powered by a ton of volunteers who work every week to help get the veggies to the people and, of course, by Margie and the farmers who work hard to coordinate everything and to grow all of the beautiful food that we distribute each week.

Is there any part of the process that you guys would like to see more of? I’m going to be shadowing them every week, so ask away!

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