To CSA or Not to CSA?

Excuse the crummy title, but that really is the question. 
Have you joined a CSA or know people who have? Joining to a CSA has long been a subject on our full plate of “Should We’s?” We try to eat lots of veggies at our house and between vegetable packed meals and juicing, we can burn through more money than I care to spend for one week’s worth of groceries. Let me get real here for a hot second and tell you that there are also many weeks where I intend to cook and juice much more than life actually allows, which means I end up throwing an embarrassing amount veggies away (of course I do this while the hubby is gone…I think he literally sees me throwing bags money away when this happens, while I just see my over-achieving meal planning in the trash). But, I digress. 
If you haven’t heard of a CSA before, it stands for Community Supported Agriculture. In a nutshell, you support local farms by becoming a member and buying a share of the anticipated harvest. Once the harvesting begins, you pick up your weekly share, which is usually at a designated drop-site or from the farm itself. What you can get will vary farm to farm and there are also different types of purchasing options. Options range from fruits, veggies, herbs and flowers to honey, eggs, dairy and meat products. Some CSAs even provide working shares, where you get reduced membership fees in exchange for work–is it weird that this sounds amazingly appealing to me? It could be partially due to the idea of being child-free while doing the work 🙂
Anyhow, the reason this decision sits on the back-burner is that there are A LOT of factors to consider. The season usually starts off slow, then picks up big time in the last half. I have heard many stories of having huge amounts of veggies in the fall, like “coming out of your ears” amounts, so I would definitely have to sharpen up on my vegetable storing knowledge. Also, if there are any sporadic travel plans for us, it’s usually in the summer, and that could be a challenge to foresee when joining in the spring. Last, I love the farmer’s markets in the Twin Cities, and I wonder if we would be less compelled to go?
I know, I know, first world problems, right? Before I wrap up, I want to touch on some great reasons to subscribe to a CSA with a link to some great local-ish options:
  • Nothing sounds more wonderful than knowing exactly where my fresh produce is coming from and exactly how I am voting with my dollar (I love transparency, it’s so hard to come by)
  • Eating local, organic and in-season is made easy with the weekly box of goodies 
  • Reduce your carbon footprint
  • Fun events at the farm and the education piece for our children during these event.
  • If you use all or most of your deliveries, you will save money…and who doesn’t love that?!

I think I just sold myself on this. I guess the good old pro’s and con’s list really does work!
Here is a link to some CSA farms in the Twin Cities area or with drop-sites near you:
If you have any thoughts, please share,
Anna

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