PrairiErth Farm's cookbook, written by Katie Bishop, is shown with beets and carrots. The book features recipes for much of the produce grown on the farm.

ATLANTA — The book of recipes and other tips put together by Katie Bishop of PrairiErth Farm is more than a cookbook.

Her husband, Hans Bishop, calls it “a user manual” for customers who are part of the farm's Community Sponsored Agriculture program.

In a CSA, participants pay a set fee — somewhat like a magazine subscription — and receive a share of the farm's harvest. Every week or two, or some other set period, members receive an assortment of recently harvested food — some harvested within 24 hours.

The CSA movement started in Europe and Japan and came to the United States about 30 years ago according to PrairiErth's website, and it helps spread the risk and bounty of local farming.

PrairiErth has a regular season CSA, a winter CSA and a "know your roots" CSA with such items as potatoes, carrots and beets. Dearing Country Farms in rural Bloomington also has a CSA program.

At the time she wrote the cookbook, PrairiEarth Farm had about 50 CSA members, she said.

“They didn't know how to prepare kale” and other foods they hadn't grown up with, she said. Many were overwhelmed by the quantity of food they received and didn't know how to preserve or store it, she said.

Rather than devote a lot of space in the CSA newsletter to recipes, Bishop put together the “user manual,” which also included recipes that CSA members had given her.

Bishop said the “PrairiErth Farm Cookbook” also became a reference source for her and popular with farmers' market customers, too.

The book is available at the Bloomington farmers' market and various locations, including Common Ground Grocery in Bloomington.

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Education Reporter

Education Reporter for The Pantagraph.

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