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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Eat Organic Produce from Local Farmers: Join a CSA


I'm so excited about all the interest in CSAs since I mentioned them during No Spend Month!  First things first, you might be asking, What is a CSA?  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  It's a way for consumers to buy fresh produce directly from local farmers.  Because of their focus on local farms and small business, there are many different variations.  There are CSAs for fruits and vegetables, meat, milk, eggs, or anything else that can be grown or produced locally. 



Fresh Local Produce      Photo Credit: aur2899

We love love our CSA!   It's one of the biggest in the country but is still a small local business.  We pay weekly for a box of organic fruits and vegetables. They have a farm near by, and they also pull produce from other local farms, so we always get a nice variety and lots of quality yummy food. In the winter, they also source a couple of things per week from either California or Mexico. Every Thursday we get the chance to review the box contents for the upcoming week and change any items or quantities that we want. Then the box gets delivered to a fitness center a couple of blocks from our house on Tuesdays, and DH picks it up on his way home from the bus stop. There is also a home delivery option.  There are all different sizes of boxes to choose from depending on how much produce you use in a week. We get the largest one.

By joining a CSA, I know that every week I will have about fifteen pounds of the freshest local organic produce available for a set price of $43.  That works out to about $2.86 per pound.  I don't have to waste time at multiple grocery stores comparing prices and picking the best looking produce. I am never tempted to buy high priced organic strawberries in the middle of winter. I usually just bypass the produce department at the grocery store completely.  


In addition to the health and budget benefits, CSAs allow us to helps small local business & agriculture thrive, so it continues to be available to all of us.  Eating locally also drastically reduces transportation distance from the field to the plate lowering carbon emissions associated with our food. 


You can search for CSAs in your area at LocalHarvest.org


Are you a member of a CSA? What benefits have you enjoyed?



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2 comments:

  1. I love my CSA! The CSAs in Indiana seem to only be functional during growing months, but Bloomington has a fairly large winter farmers market where I can get some fresh vegetables in the winter. For me, the best part about being a CSA member has been trying new things like Kohlrabi and Okra.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I love Okra! I'll have to see if we have Kohlrabi here.

      Delete


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