Silverthorn Member Story: Jennifer Robbins

For many of us, every day is whirlwind of “must-dos” and finding time to shop and cook healthfully can feel like just another series of agonizing chores. But help is just a click away when you’re a Silverthorn Farm member! Bringing you the very best seasonal, farm-fresh foods as conveniently as possible is central to Silverthorn’s mission.

Recently, member Jennifer Robbins told me about how Silverthorn works for her. “It’s so easy to be a member,” she pointed out. “It takes only a few minutes each week to make your selections, you only get what you want (and will actually use) and you can pick up somewhere very close to your house.”

When Jennifer shared that insight, I realized those few minutes of choosing food for the week is the perfect starting point for meal planning—and so much easier than creating a plan and then hoping the grocery store has what you need. Especially if you are trying to cook and eat healthfully, seasonally and with the environment in mind.

Jennifer went on to tell me about meeting Nate and Emily and learning about the produce they offered. “I’ve always been a fan and supporter of farmer’s markets, but I started paying more attention to the specific vendors and growing methods after meeting Nate and Emily Parks at the Carmel Farmers Market in 2009.” She says, “I remember their booth caught my eye because it was so well merchandised—everything just LOOKED gorgeous. We bought broccoli and cauliflower on that first day when we met—we cooked both that evening and were astonished at how different the vegetables tasted because they were just picked the day prior.”

There was more to love. “Getting to know [Nate and Emily], hearing the stories about how the food was grown and the journey through the seasons as farmers has been eye-opening and fascinating. I was hooked and can’t stop paying attention now!

We joined the Farm [membership] program in 2011 and it’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made for our family. I’m consistently impressed that the prices of food from Silverthorn Farm are competitive with organic grocery store produce—oftentimes, less expensive. It’s kind of a no-brainer when you cook and eat like we do.”

She shared, “I believe in supporting local businesses, and I care what goes into the food I put into my body. I love to cook, and it gives me a lot of pride to know I’m creating beautiful food that was grown organically, supports our local farm communities and small businesses in Central Indiana.”

I asked Jennifer if becoming a member changed how she and family ate. “Yes! We eat the rainbow now. It’s so much easier to eat for the seasons, and it’s really fun to plan meals accordingly. We have always cooked a lot at home, but being a member of the farm program and learning about new produce has expanded the menu of things we make throughout the year.

“We’re much more in tune with what we put into our bodies. We apply the same commitment to sourcing our meats and seafood and other consumable products. We want to know where our food comes from, who helped produce it and why they care so much about it. Knowing the story of our food and the hands who created it makes it more meaningful when it hits the plate.”

With so much goodness to choose from, I was curious about Jennifer and her family’s Silverthorn favorites. “Oh my gosh, so much! My win from the 2017 season was the Hungarian hot wax peppers. I found a quick pickling recipe for them, sliced into rings and pickled in big mason jars. I just ran out of my last jar a few weeks ago and have been through 5 grocery store brands to find something similar. Nothing can compete!”

She noted that each season has its highlights. “We also love a beautiful eggplant caponata when eggplants, tomatoes, peppers and basil are in full supply. Delicata squash is our favorite in the fall. And nothing beats the dark green winter spinach, especially when it’s cold outside and you’re doing a lot of braises or soups with hearty greens.”

Jennifer summed it all up with this thought, “You know you’re supporting a local business and a young family, and the passion they put into their craft shows in every bite of food. It’s worth every penny.”

About the Author:
Lorrie Wehr is a freelance writer, blog contributor and Silverthorn Farm member