WESTFIELD, NJ — Three years after launching Just Farmed, a community supported agriculture (CSA) program that delivers farm-fresh produce to your door, Westfield mom and founder Meredith Lehman is expanding its options.

“We wanted people to have more choice,” Lehman explained.

Customers who sign up this spring can choose to get a box of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables from more than 70 farms weekly in three different sizes: Sprout (5 items for $25), Crop (8 items for $35) and Harvest (11 items for $45). To skip any week, customers can simply click the “skip a week” button on their website, www.justfarmed.com, up until the Friday before the next delivery.

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In addition, each week subscribers can opt to add or double an additional item from the 11 options available for $4.50 each — all from the website.

Just Farmed works with sustainable farms in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania to bring in-season produce to customers fast — within 24 to 48 hours of picking, in most cases. The fruits and veggies arrive in reusable boxes chilled by ice mats during a time window of the customer’s choosing.

For the first time this year, the Lehman’s family farm, Flipside, will provide some of the produce. Already, they are growing organic vegetables in their greenhouse.

“My son is really into it,” she said.

As a mom, Lehman makes sure that the wide variety of produce in her boxes appeal to people of all ages.

“Just Farmed can make eating healthy foods fun for kids. When they look through a farm box, they're often amazed at the size, shape and colors of the produce,” she said. “And when they help prepare a delicious pizza made with fresh ingredients, they're excited to eat it too. They might even get more adventurous about trying new things."

With produce coming from so many sources — many of which are certified organic — Just Farmed is able to offer a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and even herbs and microgreens.

“Our box is always a culinary tasting. For example, we don’t just do red bell peppers for 10 weeks in a row. We do as many peppers as are available,” she said. This spring, customers can expect such treats as garlic scapes, ramps, peas, beans, asparagus, spinach and summer squash as well as melons, peaches, plums and nectarines. Eventually, in the fall, apples and pears will join the mix, too.

“Just Farmed is proud to say that many of its subscribers are chefs, gym owners and those in the health and wellness/holistic industries, which shows that the quality of produce provided meets some very high standards,” Lehman said.

Each week subscribers enjoy tips and recipes that make it easy to use several of the items in each box together. Additional printable recipes are available online at their website, JustFarmed.com.

Delivery for the 2016 season will begin during the first week in May and continue through the first half of November. Subscribers choose their delivery date and time. Customers may opt out during weeks that they won’t be home and there’s no fee to cancel. To sign up, click here.

As in past years, Just Farmed is happy to supply boxes for fundraising initiatives and frequently works with local schools that can sell boxes and keep all profits. To inquire, email Meredith.Lehman@JustFarmed.com.

Here, Lehman shares a few of her favorite recipes:

Stacked Salad

• 3-4 medium red tomatoes

• 8 thick slices fresh mozzarella cheese

• 1 bunch of asparagus, lightly roasted, blanched or sautéed until cooked but still firm, and then cooled

• 1 bunch fresh basil, washed but not chopped

• Bibb lettuce

• Balsamic vinegar

• Olive oil

• Salt and pepper

Take stem and top part of core out of tomatoes. Slice tomatoes into slices so you have 4 slices per salad. Slice fresh mozzarella into 2 thick slices per salad for a total of 8. Cut off rough bottom inch of asparagus. Cut remainder into 3 equal pieces. Roast, blanch or sauté asparagus pieces until cooked but still firm and bright green. Remove and cool. Layer, starting with tomato, mozzarella, basil, tomato, asparagus, tomato, mozzarella, basil and end with tomato. Cut in half like a sandwich and part ½ way. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Surround outside of “sandwich” with chopped pieces of Bibb lettuce.

Healthy Baked Crispy Potato “Fries” with Sriracha Ketchup

•             4 medium russet potatoes, washed, scrubbed and dried

•             2 tablespoons olive oil

•             salt & pepper

•             2 tablespoons ketchup

•             2 tablespoons mayonnaise

•             1 tablespoon sriracha

 

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees with the rack in the upper third. Cut your potatoes in half, then cut the halves into thirds. Use a paper towel to completely dry any moisture the cut potato releases. In a large bowl, toss the cut potato wedges with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Arrange the wedges cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet, spaced out so they are not touching. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes then remove from oven. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, flip the wedges so the other cut side is down and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Return to oven and roast for another 15 minutes. Make the sriracha ketchup by combining the ketchup, mayo and sriracha. Serve the potato wedges warm with the sriracha dipping sauce.

Portobello Stuffed with Leeks and Spinach

•             1 leek

•             2 Portobello mushroom caps

•             2 tablespoons olive oil

•             1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

•             Coarse salt and ground pepper

•             1-2 cups chopped fresh spinach (about 2 ounces)

•             3/4 cup crumbled soft goat cheese

Trim dark-green parts from leeks; slice leeks crosswise, and soak in cold water. Swish leeks to help loosen dirt. Repeat with fresh water until you no longer see any grit at bottom of bowl. Lift leek slices out of water, leaving grit behind; drain them thoroughly on paper towels. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place mushroom caps, gill sides up, on a rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with oil and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until caps are just tender, about 15 minutes. Top with leeks, yukina or spinach, and cheese; season again with salt and pepper. Bake until greens wilts and cheese starts to brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

Editor’s note: Just Farmed is an advertiser on TAPinto.net. To learn about becoming an advertiser, call 862-216-8983 or email nhackett@tapinto.net.