How to Get the Most of Your CSA-Healthy Eating

community shared agriculture healthy eating

By Georgia Tetlow, MD and Jill Maddock, PIM Office Manager

Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) is the best way to find local, seasonal and organic produce from small farms. Here in Pennsylvania, we are fortunate enough to be surrounded by many options.

You can purchase a share from your local farmer and schedule a local pickup of vegetables, fruits and possibly other items like yogurt and cheese. Farmers usually ask for the payment upfront which allows you to save money on your weekly grocery bill. A CSA on average is only about $9 per week! Every week is a surprise as to what is in your box. It can be fun and exciting to come up with creative ways and recipes to utilize your CSA each week. You may end up eating out less and healthier, knowing that your fresh CSA order is waiting for you! Signing up for a share is a great way to learn about where your food comes from and develop a relationship with your farmer!

Eating clean and healthy is a part of every comprehensive integrative medicine plan. In June, we have something new to offer! Join us on 6/20 at Cabrini University for our first class in the new series: Deep Dive with Georgia Tetlow, MD- Healthy Weight for Life. These smaller classes are limited in size to ensure personal attention from Dr. Tetlow. $75 at sign up. Please email if you are interested!

Here are some helpful tips on how to get the most out of your CSA:

  • Split the cost with a friend or family member and takes turns picking it up.

  • Plan recipes ahead of time. Most CSA’s offer a newsletter and you can get a heads about your coming order. Choose those that use multiple items such as a ratatouille or pasta.

  • Kale too rough for you? Try massaging it in your salad dressing to bring out the naturals oils and make it more enjoyable!

  • Try something new. Something like kohlrabi or dandelion greens may sound intimidating, but having a CSA will spark some motivation. Afterall, we have google!

  • Question your veggies. Take a peek inside your box at pickup, ask your farmer what an item is.

  • Prep and Store as soon as you get home. Give everything a quick rinse to extend their life. Wash your greens, take any tops off of vegetables like carrots or beets  so they stop sucking moisture out.

  • Garnish! If you get a very small amount of something, quickly grate it on top of a salad.

  • Utilize your delicates first. Pick out any greens, etc that may wilt and use them early on in the week.

Checkout a list a local Philadelphia CSA options here:


PIM wants to hear from you! Do you have a go to farm or tips for utilizing your CSA? Did you find this article helpful? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Interested in connecting with PIM? Register for one of our upcoming events - FREE Group Classes at Cabrini College (please RSVP online) OR Nutrition Classes with our very own Rachel Hershberger, MS, CNS, LDN, tickets just $45 at sign up (limited to 8 participants for individual attention, no walkins, please).

If you or your loved one has ongoing stress, mood or hormone imbalance, or they are suffering from a chronic illness, please consider scheduling a 20 minute free consultation or an appointment with Lauren Houser, MS, MSN, CRNP or Annmarie McManus, MMSc, PA-C, PT, IFMCP.


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