What is a CSA, you might ask? It's basically a food coop where members buy a share in a farm's yearly harvest. Windflower farm, my CSA's farm, will be growing fruits and veggies and harvesting pasture-raised eggs this year and I will be getting my equal share. Here's a rundown of why I've joined and maybe you'll be inspired to find one in your neighborhood for this season, or, if you're too late, punch a reminder into your calendar for next year.
Reasons I Joined a CSA:
- For fresh, local and usually organic fruits and vegetables grown just for me.
- As if you need to hear it again, eating local and organic is good for the environment. When food travels thousands of miles, not only are natural resources being wasted, but added pollution is being pumped into the air all so we can have strawberries in January.
- Eating local and organic is good for you. The farther produce travels the fewer nutrients it retains upon reaching your mouth.
- Accountability - yeah, that's a big one for me. While you might be buying organic raspberries from Chile, who from the FDA is actually overseeing the farming? Who is protecting our interests as consumers? When you buy from local farms that are a short drive from you, you can go visit and see for yourself where the food is coming from and how it's being raised.
- It's cheaper. Huh? Yes it is, by a lot. My weekly produce bill comes in at well over $50 a week if not $70. Provided this year's crop is a good one (and that's always the risk, you do as well as the farmer does), then I won't have to supplement my weekly CSA goody basket with outside produce. I will be spending $40 a week for fruits, veggies and a dozen eggs from June through November which means I'm cutting my shopping bill in half!
This is my first experience with a CSA. I've never been a get psyched kinda gal probably because I am still traumatized by my years of forced participation in an all girl's convent school. But I am psyched and I'm excited to enter a world of community support where we will enable our local farmers rather than our corporations. Maybe, come next winter, you'll be signing up for a CSA too.