From ‘You’re crazy’ to ‘This changed my whole life'

So you’ve decided that you want to change your diet.

Or you aim to influence your husband’s diet.

Or get your kids eating better.

  • Maybe its because you or a family member has already had a diagnosis or you are wanting to avoid one.
  • Maybe it’s because you’re unhappy with your health or your weight.
  • Or maybe it’s because you want your kids to grow up knowing where food really comes from…farms rather than grocery stores.

Whatever your reason may be, you want to eat more veggies.

But you’ve not figured out a way to do that that makes you and your family happy.

You’d love to grow all your own, but it’s just not possible for you. Whether you don’t have the space or the time or the sunlight to do it, you know that you can’t grow the diversity and quantity of veggies that you’d like to eat.

And, you’re not inspired by grocery store produce. It’s just not fresh. You’re not sure where it’s come from or whose hands have touched it along the way. You know deep down that eating more veggies has got to be more satisfying than that.

Does this sound like you?

Read how when Jeff and Megan joined our Summer CSA program, their relationship to food changed forever!



Megan and Jeff’s story, part 1: Where it all started

When they first married 12 years ago, Jeff describes them as “total opposites” when it came to food and cooking in the kitchen.

Let’s start with Megan. She was lucky to grow up with parents who had a big garden and cooked everything from scratch. During her childhood, she developed an appreciation for garden fresh vegetables.

Then there’s Jeff.

Jeff grew up eating processed food with few veggies he would agree to eat. For example, his take on beets: “I don’t like them!” Kale: “I don’t like it!” Not so much a veggie lover…

An avid athlete, over the years he experienced creeping weight gain and became increasingly unsatisfied with his health status, but thought it was just part of aging.

“It’s my fault!” Megan says. “We were living in the city and tried a garden, but there was not a spot of sunshine to be had.” So she decided that they needed, in her words, a “box of vegetables”.

Jeff said, “You’re crazy!” But told her to go for it anyway.

And thus began their CSA adventure…



Megan and Jeff’s story, part 2: Challenges to change

So Megan and Jeff took the plunge and joined our farm’s Summer CSA in 2013. And it was not easy for them, at first. There were many roadblocks to overcome.


Roadblock #1: Too. Much. Food.

During that first year of the Summer CSA, they both described the experience as “so many veggies!”

So much that Megan estimated that she put away close to half of the CSA contents. Because Jeff was slow to adapt to the new veggie influx, it was just too much to handle for them to eat it all fresh.

Megan lovingly dealt with it all, putting it all away for the winter as not to waste. She froze the greens and the green beans, but then found that Jeff wouldn’t eat them later either. Megan stashed up the carrots week by week and stored them through into the winter in the fridge because they couldn’t keep up.

Yes, Megan was eating a lot more vegetables, but Jeff was slow to change.

The second year, they got better at it, with big thanks to the weekly newsletter that came in the box. When they picked up the box, they made a habit of looking at the newsletter first to see what was inside! The list of veggies began to engage them, the update was fun to read, and the recipe at the bottom was right there to help get them started.

That second year of the CSA, Megan and Jeff tackled the same volume of produce, but they were able to eat way more of it fresh and ended up only putting away a few things.


Roadblock #2: Not knowing what to do with it.

But what to do with all of it?! That was always the question for Megan and Jeff in the early years of participating in the CSA.

Jeff had a standard objection to the unfamiliar veggies in the box. Presented with kale and other leafy items he asked, “What do we do with all this green stuff?!”

And Megan was in charge of cooking it all and wondered just how she was going to get Jeff to eat everything…

Megan feels that what helped her get out of her comfort zone the most were the recipe resources for the new and less common veggies.

Knowing that she could turn to the farm website’s Recipe Gallery for whatever surprise might come in their box, comforted and encouraged them to find more success in using all of the variety of CSA veggies fresh.

As time went along, Megan began to appreciate the “random things” she would never buy but that they saw in the CSA shares. Equipped with recipes, she tackled them with a can-do attitude.

“I paid for it so I have to try it!” was her rule.


Roadblock #3: Jeff thought that he didn’t like many kinds of vegetables

So remember how at first there was a lot of “Oh I don’t like kale” from Jeff?

With persistence Megan got Jeff to eat a few more things he was sure he didn’t like. She just kept repeating things that he “kinda liked,” and it wore on him.

Jeff says the Summer CSA program helped him grow from the point of recognizing that he was eating unhealthy things to actually eating healthy. It was a process that he underwent and it was not overnight.

Jeff credits the “really good tasting, really FRESH taste” of the CSA veggies with helping him get over thinking he didn’t like a lot of kinds of veggies.

“It was all undeniably tasty, so much that I couldn’t say ‘I can’t eat that’!” says Jeff.

And he slowly changed.


Roadblock #4: Jeff felt disconnected from his food and skeptical of the CSA relationship

Thanks to Megan’s background of eating garden fresh, she knew that they had to be in the CSA for the long haul.

understood that eating what’s in season fresh from the garden was something that Jeff had to do himself. She had faith that ultimately it would permanently change the way he saw food, but they both had to be patient.

Looking back to before and during those early years of the CSA, Jeff says,

“I didn’t know what food was.

I didn’t know where it came from.

I didn’t know the importance of knowing your farmer.”

Jeff was skeptical, because of course, you know, “everyone wants your money.”

Luckily Megan dragged Jeff to our farm’s annual Open Farm Day.

And the personal connection that the CSA program provided between farmers and eaters turned out to be a lynch pin for Jeff’s commitment to changing his diet.

Being a part of the CSA program, meeting the farmers, and seeing where their food was grown helped him to trust that the farmers really cared.

“Knowing that the people growing my food really cared about ME made a big difference to me,” Jeff said.

And by the way, the third year of the Summer CSA, they got even better. Nothing to put away, not even the green beans! But it didn’t stop there…


Megan and Jeff’s story, part 3: Success! Taste buds can and do change

After three and four years in the CSA, Jeff became excited to find out what would be in the box. No more questioning if it was worth it!

Megan and Jeff both realized that they were truly eating more veggies. Including kale! And beets!

Not only were they not putting any veggies away anymore, but also they were eating a little bit from their backyard garden and buying extra at a farmers market!

And Jeff started to lose weight. By the next season Jeff had gotten himself down to his goal weight, successfully losing well over 50 pounds!

Jeff believes that he has lost the weight and kept it off because of converting his diet. It came from eating nutritious food and eating until just full. From then on he just kept “kicking out bad food” and substituting higher quality food, including lots more quantity and variety of vegetables.

For Jeff, joining the CSA represented the beginning of better nutrition choices that “changed my whole life”!

In the beginning Jeff used to say, “What do you mean, salad with just oil and vinegar as a dressing? Bizarre!”

“But taste buds do change,” he muses.


We'd love for you to join us!

Jeff and Megan’s story is truly inspirational. It’s also extremely common within our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program family! To us, the CSA is not just about the vegetables. It’s about the people who decide to become members and go on to change their lives.

Sign up today and start making the changes you want in your life. Here’s the link.

Or sign up for or email list and you'll get the CSA harvest calendar and learn more about our CSA.

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Comments (1)

This is what my husband and I strive to teach our daughters! Know your farmer. Buying fresh, nutritious and trustworthy food. Buying local. And the big one....keep an open mind and try new things!! Im pretty darn psyched to get our first box of the year! So good to be back!