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Have you ever heard of a CSA?  It stands for Community Supported Agriculture.

CSA’s are locally-based models of farming and food distribution.  That means individuals in the community can buy CSA shares of produce to support local farms.

benefits of joining a CSA

My favorite CSA in Pittsburgh is Kretschmann Organic Farm.  Once a week, from June to Thanksgiving, I pick up a box of produce from my neighbor’s front porch.

Memories of the freshest tomatoes, carrots, apples, and berries come to mind (By the way, when you get those berries, use the tip in my healthy snacking post to keep them fresh longer).  We’ve also picked up beets, basil, and fresh apple cider. Some farms offer cheese, eggs, and meat for an additional cost.  One year I added fair trade coffee to our CSA share.  Heaven.

I’m sure all CSA’s are different, but here are the basic details:

  • purchase a weekly or bi-weekly share
  • pick your share size – small, medium, large
  • list your favorite and least favorite foods
  • pick-up your box of produce nearby
  • receive newsletters and recipes

This year, I’m signing up for the “light” share size.  It’s the smallest one available and I only have to pick it up every other week.  The cost works out to about $24 per CSA pick-up.  You get soooo much more produce than you would at the grocery store for that amount of money.  Plus it’s organic and you’re supporting local farmers.  Everyone wins.

I started making pesto when my first CSA share included bunches of fresh basil.  Once you try this pesto, you’ll never go back to buying the pre-packaged stuff at the grocery store.

freezer friendly homemade pesto recipe

Homemade Pesto Recipe

Toss with pasta or try my awesome recipe for chicken pesto calzones.  Freeze leftovers in an ice cube tray.


  • 3 cups basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2/3 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder or red pepper flakes (optional)
  • somewhere between 2/3 to 1 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Add all ingredients – except oil – to a blender or food processor.
  2. Turn on “low” and gradually add oil until ingredients are combined and pesto is desired consistency.


Now, go look into joining a CSA!  Around here, most of them are full by the spring so now is the time to sign up!

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11 years ago

Yum, I love Pesto! We used to do CSA and absolutely loved it. Sort of fell off the wagon last year and forgot to sign up but will probably do it again this year. I loved picking up a premade basket of produce. It was a fun surprise and challenge to use and try everything we got!

11 years ago

With the amount of produce that you grew in your garden last year, you could probably do your own CSA!


[…] Freezer Friendly Pesto (New Leaf Wellness) […]


[…] Here’s a simple one with lettuce, tomato, carrots, beets, and roasted pinenuts.  (While you’re roasting pinenuts, you might as well roast some extra to make my awesome homemade pesto recipe.) […]


[…] time to prep.  (Plus if you have leftover parmesan cheese, you can use it to make my homemade pesto!)  I use store-bought sauce in this recipe, so consider that your […]