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A Getting-Started Guide to CSAs

Eating Locally Just Got Easier


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    Just go to any farmer's market yourself and pick out what your family actually eats. This idea sounds good, but really is not practical for the average person. Truth be told, we couldn't notice a big difference in taste at all from grocery store produce, and grocery store produce was cheaper. Farmer's market stuff used to be cheaper in the old days, but not in the past 10 years. Farmer's markets now are just another part of the billion dollar health push industry....making dough and charging more. Pay attention.
  • My Fiance and I have been part of a CSA for 3 summers now... it's right down the road from us and we've gotten very close with the farmer. We've been able to become vegetarian at a very low cost. There are many families that come to pickup day and it's such a treat seeing kids getting excited about things like pick your own peas and raspberries.

    In planning our future and where we'd like to buy a house, being close to the farm is definitely high on our list!

    When we told him we were getting married in October, he set aside a patch for us for pumpkins. All we had to do was buy the seeds and come by and weed a couple of times. He's done all the work for us.
  • Do your research before laying down any money. The price charged by the local farm/orchard here is double what you'd pay to buy the same quantity of produce from the local farmer's markets. If you're in it to save money, you're better off to trek to the markets and buy it piecemeal.
  • I love it. I pay 15-20 dollars every other week and they deliver to my job a large and very fresh bag of fruits and vegetables. Bag weighs about 16-18 lbs. they email a list. Of the food that week, you can substitute if you don't like something.
  • I never heard of CSA before reading this article. After reading this article I went onto the internet and found a local CSA farm in my small rural community which I have lived in for 14 years and never heard about before. With summer on it's way I am going to be giving the owners a call and find out what I can do to participate this spring. Thanks for openig my eyes.
  • My daughter and son-in-law didn't renew their subscription to their CSA because they got tired of eating leeks, and they weren't getting the vegetables that the CSA had on their monthly lists. On the surface it seems like a good idea, but . . . .
  • This is such an interesting idea! I have never heard of CSAs before. I'm definitely going to think about it. I might just try the farmer's market idea for next summer since there are several near me and I'm leary of the financial committment up front and the need to pick up the produce weekly (that's tough with a very busy work / travel schedule). There's one in the area that attends a local farmers market. it would be a good way to get introduced to the farmer and what they offer. I'm definitely keeping it in mind!
  • We've been a part of a CSA over the summer and have absolutely loved it. I took my 7-year old daughter to pick up our bag last week and had planned to purchase some bacon, so we could have BLT's for dinner the next evening. When we found out that they didn't have any left, I told her that we'd have to get some at the grocery store. She made a face, and said, "Ew! Let's just wait until next week!".
  • I love my CSA!

    It is like opening a present every week to see what goodies I get. Then a culinary challenge to incorporate each of the choices into my meals. And a challenge to use it all before the next week, or freeze some of it for the winter. Only thing I don't like is when I get overwhelmed with lettuce, because you can't freeze it!

    I'm a little sad now because my summer subscription is over, now it will be back to the bland choices in the produce aisle. But I have squash and pumpkins available for a little while yet, they are a good seasonal choice right now.
  • I invite you to join the CSA team. We are small but mighty- Good fellowship and recipe swaps for the adventure in produce that CSA bring!
  • I tried an organic produce delivery service - not really a CSA - but the produce was not the best quality. I've looked into joining the CSA but it was too late to sign up when I looked. It's also quite inconvenient - you have to pick it up and it's only available one day a week in a 2-hour window from like 3pm-5pm. Guess they don't want to include people who WORK. And sadly, our farmer's market is more expensive than the organic produce at the store. It's also better quality, so I do go and get a few things every Saturday. If money were no object I'd buy all my produce there, but I just can't afford to go broke on vegetables.
  • I have had a CSA membership for about 10 years now. It was a challenge at first to use everything (and to learn how to use some of it!) but now I can't imagine life without it
  • I shop the local Amish stands
  • I love my CSA!

    I know cost can be an issue for many people--the upfront costs are high to join. Many farms also offer "working" shares where you can volunteer for a certain number of hours and get reduced prices.

  • I joined a CSA for the first time this past summer. I thought it was a great bargain and the only thing I had trouble with was using all the produce before I got my next box. I've found myself missing the fresh vegetables and am looking forward to deliveries starting back up in March.

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