Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hooray for CSA!

I love Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). My dad and stepmom gave my husband and I a CSA basket for my birthday, and it's honestly one of the best presents I've ever received! What is a CSA? It's essentially a "subscription" to a local farm for a certain amount of food/certain amount of time. In general, it's probably a bit more expensive than buying your groceries at the supermarket UNLESS you want to make the move to eat organic-only produce. In my small basket (which feeds a family of 2), I got all of this:

4 tangelos

2 avocados

1 pint of strawberres

1 pound of sugar snap peas

1 bunch arugula

1 pound carrots

1 cucumber

3 tomatoes

1 onion

4 Braeburn apples

3 kiwi

1 mango

8 potatoes

For $27...after comparing prices online for the same organic food, I estimated the savings to be between $5-$12.

There are definitely a few drawbacks of CSAs - you have certain times/places you can pick up your basket, and it might take some tweaking of your schedule. Also, you may not like certain fruits or veggies that come in your basket. Some places (like my CSA) lets you substitute up to 3 items per week. For instance, I was supposed to get radishes last week...and I was not too keen on that. So, I substituted a mango instead! Excellent trade!

But I think the plusses far outweigh the minuses...first, you get excellent, farm-fresh organic produce most likely cheaper than what you'd pay for it at the store. Also, you get to be in touch with your food. A lot of farms who sponsor CSAs have days when you can come visit the farm! You get to try fruits and vegetables you are normally afraid of trying - you might find you really love kale! They even give you recipes to show you how to incorporate all the food you have. And CSAs are good for keeping small farms in business, and cutting down on the costs of energy due to food transportation. The less it takes to get to you, the better it is for our environment.

If you're in Washington or Alaska, I definitely encourage you to check out Full Circle Farm. They have a ton of pickup locations and are very flexible with makeup dates and food substitutions. Go to www.fullcirclefarm.com for more information.

1 comment:

  1. CSAs rock! If you guys are bugged by going to a pick up location (I know I am), there are a few in the Seattle area that deliver to your doorstep.