Friday, May 18, 2012

Yay for CSA!

Q: What is a CSA?
A: A CSA is Community Supported Agriculture.  Basically, it's a program that you join, and once you are a member you receive a "share" of local and mostly organic fruits and vegetables weekly for the entire farming season. 

If you are already familiar with CSA's, please bear with me, I know there are a lot of people out there that are unfamiliar with the concept, and I want to share and educate!

The CSA I joined is the Farm direct Co-op and it's based out of Marblehead, Ma with three depot locations in Marblehead, Salem, and Melrose.  Their website said they had a waitlist for the Melrose Depot, but when I emailed them they told me they actually had 11 spots left! I was so thrilled to be able to join this year.

Once the season starts in June, I'll go once a week to the depot location to pick up my share.  Lucky for me, the depot pick-up location is less than a mile from my apartment, so it will be super convenient. 

A typical weekly vegetable share looks like this:
  • 1 pound heirloom tomatoes,
  • 4 ears organic sweet corn,
  • 4 units choice.
The choice vegetables will be whatever they have available (in season) at that time

A typical weekly fruit share looks like this:
  • a small watermelon,
  • 1 pound of peaches,
  • 1 pound of plums,
  • ½ pint of raspberries and
  • a pound of apples

This CSA also has a few other share options like herbs, bread, and cheese.  We were interested in the bread option, but we decided it was a little too expensive, and we could just get good bread at the local bakery that our friends work at.  

Since the CSA is a little pricey, I had my friend at work help me with a Pros and Cons list.  I love making these types of lists (even though they usually don't help me), but this one certainly did!

  • Cost (quite expensive)
  • What if we end up not eating the food and it goes bad?
  • What if I am unable to pick it up each week?

  • Healthy, fresh, local, mostly organic produce
  • Getting involved in the town I just moved too
  • Possibly meeting new people/making friends
  • Being forced to learn how to cook with all these vegetables
  • Blog post opportunities:  "hey, look what I got this's what I plan to make..."
  • Supporting local farmers

It was obvious to me after making this list that I had to do it.  There are both personal benefits (getting all my daily fruit and vegetable servings) and community benefits (since you make payments in advance, it helps with the local farmer's cash flow).

Hope I did a good job explaining CSA!

For more info:

Are you planning on eating local this summer? Are there any farms near you?  What's your favorite summer vegetable/fruit?

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