With all the very soaking rain which has only just barely tapered off in Massachusetts I have been turned to thoughts of growing things. Well, more accurately, I’ve been looking into possibly joining in a Community Supported Agriculture offering near my home (and possibly a meat CSA!) this summer. The whole idea sounds intriguing for many reasons, mostly because I did not find self-grown tomatoes or squash to work out so well in a patio version last summer but also for this:
“CSA benefits you by providing a constant supply of produce locally grown and offered at the peak of ripeness and absolute freshness. Small farmers are able to grow produce that is better tasting than that of large commercial farms, which often grow fruits and vegetables designed to be mechanically harvested and transported greater distances. For many who are concerned about how their food is grown and the distance most of our food travels to get to the supermarket, developing a trusting relationship with the farmer is the number one benefit.” (Emphasis mine)
For those who, like me, had no idea at all what this was a week ago, here’s the gist:
You pay what feels like a huge amount up front at the start of the season. Then every week (or month for meat CSA) you go to a designated pick-up spot to get a big box of your very own fresh fruits/veggies.
After doing some math I found that the cost is actually very reasonable (at least for the one I’m looking at; others were higher and so it merits research) when worked out to a weekly cost. It would be less than buying from the store; would support the local growers; and would provide me with some (sometimes unknown to my cooking and purchasing habits) fresh deliciousness. It seems that some folks only worry that they get too MUCH food in each week’s allotment. Though with freezing and maybe even canning that would be a fun bonus for me.
Since I’m still looking into the idea I thought I’d throw out a line and find out other people’s thoughts. Have you joined a CSA? Did you like it? Did you hate it? Would you do it again? What are your thoughts on the concept in general? Do you have suggestions for anyone looking to take on a share? Do you have some new produce that you’ve learned to love since joining a CSA and getting it in your weekly share? Recipes? Anything really.