I would love to feed my family all locally grown organic food. Unfortunately the cost, variety and quality that most grocery stores offer will often prevent me from doing so.
Sometimes I will browse the isles of the grocery store and see the organic produce selling for up to 3x the amount for the same veggie or fruit that is found in the non-organic bin. Eggs, milk and meat can be even worse.
Remove the cost factor and I still don’t see the variety or quality available at most super markets. I guess the turnover is just not there yet for organic produce. The vegetables will often look wilted and somewhat dull. I’m sure this will change as demand grows and organic becomes more mainstream.
That said, there are some great markets that sell organic produce that is fresh and vibrant. Beside it however there comes a hefty price tag. It is usually too cost prohibitive to consider purchasing all organic produce each week.
Welcome to Community Shared Agriculture or CSA.
- CSA gives households the ability to buy “shares” (a seasons worth at a time) of the current year’s harvest from their local organic farmers.
- The weekly shares are priced reasonably and the fresh produce is delivered weekly to a pick up point.
- Each week the produce will vary with little to no choice from the household as to what they will receive.
- What remains constant? The produce is always certified organic, local (with options for non-local fruit) and fresh!
I believe CSA shares may be the answer for my family.
I decided to sign up for CSA shares from a local farm. I received my first share of vegetables last Tuesday.
My share included:
- 1 bunch of Kale/Spinach
- Bushel of Radishes
- 1 bunch of Asparagus
- One 8oz container of mushrooms
- 4 Bok Choy
- Head of lettuce
- Bag of baby salad mix
- 3 large tomatoes
- Garlic Scapes (thing long tops of garlic)
All of the above super fresh organic produce for $25.00! I now feel confident in my decision to sign up for a season of CSA shares. My family was convinced after a few bites of fresh, vibrant greens and asparagus spears!
Be warned, there is a bit of work involved. When I got home with my weekly share, I spent an hour or so (maybe more) cleaning and properly storing the produce. A weeks worth of organic produce can be fragile and proper cleaning and storing is essential. Sometimes you have to take one for the team! I know my family will appreciate the great meals.
For now, all organic will have to wait. I’m very excited to start with organic produce.
Some meals that I have prepared so far incorporating the weeks share of produce:
- Garlic Ginger Shrimp with Bok Choy & Garlic Scapes
- Citrus Salad
- Fennel & Cumin (One Pot Wonder) Chicken Dish
- Family Size Spinach Omelette
- Roasted Asparagus
- Garlic Roasted Mushrooms
- Salad greens topped with pulled chicken, roasted cumin sweet potato, fresh avocado & lime
I have to admit, now that the week has come to an end, I feel like a little school girl anxiously waiting for my next pick up of produce. What will I get and what to make next!
As always, any comments or questions you may have regarding the above or healthy whole food eating in general is appreciated!