Sunday, June 12, 2011

Small Change: Find a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Share!

Although we have started our own garden, we aren't seasoned enough to be able to count on growing all of our own produce.  This year, I am very excited that we have purchased a share at a local farm.  The share will consist of 17 weekly bundles of fresh goods.  This coming Wednesday is the first week and I am super excited to pick up our goodies!  I am looking forward to seeing the benefits of buying and supporting local food and learning how to cook with in season veggies that I don't usually eat or cook with.  If you are interested in this idea, here is how we got started:

  1. Visit the website and search for farms offering shares in your local area;
  2. Reach out to the farms of interest and ask any questions you may have about their practices, use of chemicals etc.  Many of the farms have websites that offer all of the information at your fingertips;
  3. Find out information about the different sizes and costs of shares;
  4. Go for it!
If purchasing a full season share feels like too big of a commitment, don't forget that websites like farm fresh also provide a lot of information about local farmers' markets. Farmers' markets are another great way to eat local, fresh food and support local businesses without the full season purchase.

For our first season, my sister-in-law and I decided to share a large family share.  This would allow us CSA rookies to use fresh, local produce for our families without risk of wasting.  As for the budget, the 17 weeks of fresh veggies breaks down to about $17.65/week for each family.  Not bad!  I'll keep you posted on the goods as they come in!

Although our CSA share is just starting this week, I am confident that this will be a small change with large benefits.  Here is how I see it:

Small Change
  • Research local farms offering shares;
  • Reach out to the farms to get more information;
  • Plan and purchase a CSA share for the season!
Large Benefits
  • Support local farms/business:
  • Feed the family freshly grown produce;
  • Meet the people who grow your family's food;
  • Learn how to cook/bake with new foods that are fresh and in season!
Here's to a great summer!

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