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Why We Love Our CSA {And You Should, Too!}

Or maybe this post should be titled, "What the Heck is a CSA?". CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It is a win-win situation between people who eat (!) and those who farm edible foods. :) Signing up for a CSA is easy as pie, but you have to do it early in the year to reserve a spot. Since the trends the last few years have started leaning towards eating locally, fresh, organic (no additives, antibiotics, or hormones), free range (roaming over land rather than in cages, and a more plant-based diet, a CSA is a wise investment. For three years...yes THREE YEARS I have tried to convince Stefan to sign up. Finally, this year, with part of our tax return, we did it! Sign ups usually begin in February, but if you wait til' April, most spots are gone, so the sooner, the better.
For $580 per 20 weeks, we were signed up for the biggest box you could get with Community CROPS, the Veggie Lovers. We split it 50% with my mother every week (and also that price) and it is plenty for our family of four, two being small children. We get double the amount of produce as the regular box, and much more variety. When you see, every week, the types of produce and the amount, it is much, much cheaper than buying these things at the store! Not only cheaper, but healthier, too, since it is all organically grown (no pesticides) and raised a few miles away from where we live, cutting down on pollution from shipping.


Our CSA organization, Community CROPS also has small garden plots all over the city that they manage, where unused lots have turned into beautiful agricultural landscapes. People can sign up and pay for their plot on a sliding scale, and this is the perfect opportunity for people who have no yard (apartments) to get their fingers dirty. Many of the food grown in these in-town plots, and the extras from Sunset farm (CSA boxes) are sold to local restaurants, farmers' markets, and Open Harvest, Lincoln's co-op.

This last weekend was an open invitation to come to the farm for a 'clean up day'. Since our kids are under the age of 8 (the recommended age to work), we decided to just go on the tour at 11. It was very hot that day, so we didn't stay more than 45 minutes, but they even let our kiddos water some seedlings in containers! They loved it. Ani is above, watering the herbs, and Lukka, with dad's help, is spraying the more hardy crops.

Going out to the farm was a fantastic way to teach Lukka all about where our food comes from. He knows we get it from the grocery store, and from our 'box daddy brings home', but here is where it is actually grown! A great opportunity for anyone interested, I believe they would also give tours to day cares as well.

This is a picture of one week's produce from our box. If I can remember correctly, the produce here were: green onions, radishes, beets, turnips, 2 heads of lettuce, bagged lettuce, strawberries,sugar snap peas, garlic scrapes (top of garlic, milder), and I'm sure some sort of herb.
CSAs are a win-win solution to eat healthier, locally, and to try vegetables & fruits that you may have never even seen before! They are helping local people become farmers through education, resources, and advertising, empowering them to fulfill their dreams while filling your table with delicious and nutritious goodies!

Tip: If you're looking to pick your own goodies across the USA, go to pickyourown.org or to find a CSA in your area, go to Local Harvest.

Comments

Beck said…
I have been dying to join a CSA now for 2 years, but just because of circumstances being sick and pregnant, then this year not having a home during the season...I am vowing to do it next year! LOVE everything about them! You nailed it, totally a win-win!

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