Friday, January 29, 2010

Thinking about a CSA

After becoming obsessed with Michael Pollan yesterday, I went ahead and revisited the idea of joining a CSA. I looked into it about a year ago when Kendall and I shopped heavily at our local farmers' market. Notice how that's in the past tense? We found a problem-- a lot of Saturday mornings, we were running other errands, the weather was crappy (too hot, too cold, too wet) and in the winter, and we found ourselves not really wanting to eat seasonally. Summer's great here, but in the winter, I struggle with root and leafy veggies. Our bad. But we didn't commit because of price.

So now I'm looking into joining a CSA. There are several around Austin. Most run about $30-$35 for a 1/2 bushel of produce from a local farmer. For the amount of food that we would get, I think it would be cheaper than what we'd spend at the farmers' market, just picking things out. Plus, it would force us to learn how to cook some things! And we could pick it up in our area on Friday night or Saturday morning.

Currently, we're spending about half of the CSA price on produce from our supermarket. So we're going to have to do some thinking and talking.

I'm all for eating more veggies, and I like the idea of sort of being forced to try some new stuff. I also like the idea of having to tailor my week's menu to the expected harvest for that week (usually, the farm will post this on their web site the week of pick-up). Also, when we ate from the farmers' market, we felt better and noticed our seasonal pollen allergies weren't as severe.

But paying double for food gives me pause, again. I understand the arguments as to why eating locally and organically is worth it, but we also have some pretty hefty saving goals this year...

What are your thoughts, gentle readers?


Sarah said...

I definitely think it is worth it to join a CSA. The extra money on produce may seem like a lot, but when you weigh it against the longterm environmental, economic, health etc. rewards, the choice is obvious. Eating local, organic foods is better for your body and the environment! Also, you are supporting a local farmer rather than a mega farm/greenhouse somewhere half-way around the globe where you don't know how they treat their laborers etc.

I'm joining my local CSA here in Brooklyn and think it would be great to read your blog for inspiration. Also, if you are looking for tasty recipies for leafy greens - I'd be happy to share.

Laura said...

Well my goodness! Thanks!

Kendall and I did visit our farmers' market on Saturday, and stopped by the Johnson's farm's stand (they have a CSA as well). We're still deciding on the CSA, but did resolve to at least buy from the Farmers' Market every weekend. The lettuce is better! The broccoli is divine!

There's one farm that is from Stonewall, TX, where my grandmother was born, so that is a nice little connection that makes me happy. They have always had great produce and their prices are very reasonable (I paid $1.50 for 3 broccoli crowns).

One of Kendall's concerns was that we might not be able to eat all the veggies that are delivered to use through the CSA. Any thoughts on this?