Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Eat Your Veggies - Cheap!

This is a new thing to me. It's so new to me that I thought I'd share:

Do you know what a CSA is?

The abbreviation CSA stands for Community Sponsored Agriculture, and it's a new (to me, anyway) way to buy fresh produce. Instead of going to the store or farmer's market to buy produce on-demand, you agree to purchase a share in a local farm, and you pre-buy your produce. Then, every week, you pick up a box loaded with locally grown produce, usually at a fraction of the cost you'd pay at the store.

The idea sounded cool, so I looked around, and found a CSA farm within 30 minutes of my house. For $23 a week, I can buy a family-sized box of organically-grown produce that is just as good or better than the stuff I can buy at the grocery store. Best of all, it's about half the cost of what I would pay for the same items at the store. If I decide to pay for the entire season up-front, they'll give me a 10% discount. Woot!

Although we are growing our own veggies, this year we planted far too late and planned far too poorly to be able to grow enough food for the three of us. Our garden was more of a science experiment. We wanted to learn what crops grow best in our area, teach The Kid about where our food comes from, and how hard life was for people in the "olden days." We also figured that The Kid would be more likely to eat vegetables she helped till with her own hands. So far, the garden has been a success in all of those areas, and it's a shame we don't have a bigger back yard. (I'm still craving more radishes!)

Between the CSA and our yard, we probably won't need to buy produce again until next winter. What an incentive to eat better.

Oh, and if you check out the above link for Community Sponsored Agriculture, you'll find a directory of participating farms near you.

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