A simple pleasure for me in the spring is fresh vegetables. Not the grocery store variety; but straight-from-the-farm fresh vegetables. And the best way to get local produce is through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).
Three years ago we decided to try out a CSA… and we haven’t looked back. It is an amazing way to get local, seasonal produce (and other items depending on the CSA). And we just signed up for another year.
And it’s fun, because each week is a bit of a surprise. Whatever we get each week, determines the direction of the meals we will have.
Here is an example of what we got in a box last spring.
Kale, spinach, white onions, asparagus, green leaf lettuce and rhubarb…the best of spring! And the contents change as the season progresses.
Tomatoes, garlic, zucchini, red onions, yellow squash…the best of summer!
Basically a CSA works like this: You buy a share (which is basically a membership or subscription) offered by a local farm. In turn, you get a box of produce (and maybe other farm goodies) on a regular basis (weekly, every other week, etc.) throughout the farming season.
What does it cost? It varies. So I can best describe it with my personal experience.
Two years ago, we opted for a full share at a local CSA. The cost of a full-share for the spring/summer CSA was $750.00. At first glance, it seemed crazy to spend that much on vegetables. The CSA was 21 weeks long, so that came to $36.00 per week. And since the full share was so large, I split it with my neighbor, bringing my weekly cost down to $18.00. Not bad!
Is it worth it? Oh yeah. Here is what I love.
- It is a wonderful way to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.
- It gives you access to fresh, organic produce for a reasonable price.
- I’m getting access to varieties of vegetables I didn’t know existed. (Have you ever heard of Salanova lettuce? I didn’t think so.)
Try CSA for a season. You won’t regret it!