Recently my fiancé and I decided to take advantage of one of the local CSA’s (Community Support Agriculture) for this upcoming growing season. This post is going to explain a bit about what a CSA is and why we chose to take advantage of this local program. There are many different CSA’s to choose from in your area so do some research and make the choice that best fits you.
What is a CSA?
I am not going to pretend that I am an expert when it comes to CSA. The short answer to this question is that a CSA is in place so that local farmers (butchers, dairy farm, any other local products) can offer their products on a regular basis to those that support them the most. You tend to receive a preset amount of product on a regular recurring basis. Since you typically sign up and pay in advance, the cost is much cheaper than what you would expect to pay in stores. We chose one that will provide us with local and seasonal fruits and vegetables, but there are many others out there for different needs that you may have.
One of the many reasons we chose to get our produce this way was so we could support local farms and growers. We understand how important they are to the community and we have wanted to support them at our local farmer’s markets for a while but have yet to make a habit of attending these. This way, it is a regular pickup time that will allow us to get into the habit of this.
We make every attempt to eat organically sourced foods at our local grocery store. This can be quite expensive at times. Typically, the cost of going organic is almost double at most grocery stores we shop. The term organic has been loosely defined over the years so you can’t be sure what they mean when they are even labeled organic. This allows us the opportunity to speak directly with the grower of the product and ask any questions that we may have about the product that we are receiving.
Seasonal eating is another reason why we chose to take advantage of this. I am not the type of person to pay attention to what is in season and what is not. With the ability to ship and freeze produce, we are spoiled with having most vegetables and fruits available year round, no matter your location. I prefer to eat my produce when it is grown and pick within weeks and not taken from a frozen storage. The convenience is nice, but the quality is something that you cannot replace.
As mentioned previously, the cost savings with this is the main reason that we are exploring this option. We are choosing an option that feeds 3-4 people and are getting it at a cost of around $20/week! Just imagine how much you spend on produce alone at the grocery store (specifically organic items). We would spend over $20 a week just on berries! Not to mention all of the other produce that we typically go through. The cost savings alone makes it worth trying out.
I will continue to post about our experiences with our local CSA as we await our first produce in Mid-June. Please connect with me on Instagram @moneyandimage to give your feedback on any experience you have had with CSA in the past or just to interact!