The VINES Farm Share program has been running strong for the past eight growing seasons. Going from just 35 weekly shares the first year to over 200 the past 2 seasons, the program has changed and expanded over the years. One thing will always remain the same, though, Farm Share allows families and individuals of all incomes to support our local farmers and create interesting meals together.
One of our Farm Share members this year is a young person, Nevaeh, who has been supporting her family’s healthy goals by cooking them dinner with their VINES Farm Share. Neveah shared her story and thoughts on her experience with VINES Farm Share with us:
My name is Nevaeh, I am fifteen years old. I love to cook dinner for my family of seven! My family and I are a part of VINES Farm Share this season and have loved it.
This year was our first year trying it out and it has helped our family tremendously in many different ways. It has helped our health and goal this year which is, Eat Better, Move More. It has helped my father who had cancer and had to go on a special diet. We have been able to blend the veggies into our meals so our brother, who has cerebral palsy, can easily chew and enjoy the food better than he used to. For me personally, it has really helped my gut. A year ago I got a food allergy test and found out I was sensitive to 55 out of the 100 foods on that list. The 45 I wasn’t sensitive to or was mildly sensitive to, were veggies. So using VINES Farm Share this year and eating the things I can eat, has really helped my gut be able to heal, and has helped my ability to avoid the foods I am sensitive to.
I used the veggies in soups, salads, and other delicious foods. To make these delicious meals possible however, my mom and I would first take two or three veggies we didn’t know how to use, and look up how to use them on the internet. The morning after we got our Farm Share we meal planned for the week so we would know when to use the things that spoiled faster. I would also prep the day or morning before the meal by chopping the veggies, then sticking them into containers in the fridge. Every morning, a see-through, covered container of prepped food was put on the table for people to snack on throughout the day. That way we could see the options throughout the day, but the moisture would stay in.
When I first started Farm Share, I had no idea and no interest in using the greens (collard greens, kale, etc.) I used it in stir fry but didn’t know how to use it otherwise. Recently, I have been packing sauces and soups with the greens. I like to do this because, the acid from the soups and sauces takes the bitterness and taste out of the greens, and adds vitamins into the food.
Our family makes scrambled eggs with, onions, greens, and tomatoes. There is practically a whole salad in there! If your family doesn’t like all of the different textures, you can throw the egg mixture in the blender. Parents, these are great ways to pack some vitamins and variety of veggies into your kids without them getting suspicious.
VINES Farm Share has really helped my family, and I hope to continue doing it next year! I would personally like to thank the people who take the time to bring our veggies to town every week, and explained the new veggies. Thank you to the farmers and volunteers who grow and pick the veggies. Your work has really helped and improved our health this year. For those who have not tried VINES Farm Share and are thinking about joining, I would say, “Totally join!” It’s a great way your family can get involved in exploring new tastes and veggies!
Thank you so much to Nevaeh for sharing her story with us and to everyone who makes Farm Share possible. Your donations this year, along with a grant from the COVID-19 Community Response Fund Alliance, allowed us to give an even deeper discount of up to 75% off a weekly share to area families.