A CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation where the growers and consumers share the risks and benefits of food production. CSAs usually consist of a system of weekly delivery or pick-up of vegetables and fruit in a vegetable box scheme, sometimes including dairy products and meat.
After a few years of hearing about them but frankly being scared of being forced to eat weird foods, we pulled the trigger this year and split a share at a local farm with some friends of ours. And I am so sad I did not do it sooner!! I love that I am getting amazing quality organic produce fresh from the farm for a fraction of the cost I would pay for crappy produce from the grocery store that comes from halfway across the country. And the money stays here, in this economy, which frankly really needs it.
The thing I was most afraid of? That I would waste food because we wouldn’t like it, or the kids wouldn’t eat it, or I just wouldn’t be able to use it all in a week. So far, that has not remotely happened. I am getting creative in the kitchen and discovering new foods I never knew I would like. If you recall, I am not an adventurous eater. But thanks to a few great cookbooks , I am finding ways to incorporate different veggies in a way that my family will eat them. The kids have been involved in the pick up of our stash every week so they are actually excited to try new things. It doesn’t always go over well, but at least they are trying.
So by my estimation, I get weekly produce from June through the end of October. I am hoping to do some canning and freezing as well so my bounty can last me into the winter. I think the cost works out to $9 a week (math is not a strong suit). That seems like a heck of a deal to me. Oh and I didn’t even mention that the last 2 weeks I have also received a plant that has promptly gone in the garden. So that is the gift that keeps on giving.
Local Harvest is a great website for finding a local CSA near you. Have you tried a CSA? Did you find you saved money?
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