Saturday, July 10, 2010

Our CSA

I missed the deadline for the Carnival of Natural Parenting this month about food. It will go live on Tuesday, but since I'm not posting for it, I'll post about our food adventures here today!

We've been receiving a CSA box for a month now. CSA is Community Supported Agriculture. The idea behind it is that you put money upfront to help a local farm through the growing season and as they harvest their crop, you get a portion of it. If it's a good year, you get a lot, if not, then you don't. It's a little bit of a gamble.

You have to go to a drop off location to pick up your box. Luckily for us, the CSA we joined drops off their boxes at McKay's work. So every Wednesday, McKay comes home with a big box of vegetables and fruits for us to eat!

How have our habits changed?

  1. We eat more salads and greens. Every box has had leafy vegetables in it and because we have to eat them up before the next week, we find ourselves eating more salads. As the summer has progressed, we've received less greens because they don't handle heat well, but we still get enough that we need to have regular salads.
  2. I spend less at the grocery store. Because we get the box on Wednesdays, I plan the meals Wednesday night and go grocery shopping for everything else on Thursday. I definitely don't spend as much money at the grocery store any more.
  3. We try new foods and recipes. As embarrassing as it is to admit, before the CSA, I had never had fresh cabbage. Or kale, chard, golden beets, Tokyo turnips, or even fresh figs. I'm assuming "Fig Newtons" don't count. We also get recognizable foods like carrots, lettuce, green beans, peas, apricots, nectarines, and garlic.
  4. We eat less meat, which saves us money. Because I plan our meals around our CSA box, our dinners are vegetable-focused instead of meat-focused.
  5. I'm a better cook now. Because of the new recipes and new tastes, we aren't eating the same old food week after week. It makes me feel better about my skills as a cook. Also, local food tastes better.
  6. Wednesday is actually an exciting day instead of being the boring middle of the work week. I get really excited to see McKay come home with the box. It's like Christmas every week! We never know what we're going to get!
  7. We eat seasonally and locally. The food comes to us with a smaller carbon footprint and everything is certified organic.

I feel good that Margaret gets to try new foods. She's not a particularly picky 2 year old, but she definitely benefits from the new food. I made kale chips the other day and while she refused to eat them the first day, she was all about them last night!

Also, it's led me to new knitting! We received a pound of garlic last week. I've never owned that much garlic at time, so I knit up a couple of garlic bags.

I really like our CSA. We can get fresh foods without having to beat the crowds to the farmer's market!

4 comments:

  1. We joined the SLC food co-op a couple months ago, and I have enjoyed it for similar reasons. It's fun to branch out to new foods.

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  2. How neat! Do they do stuff like that all over? I wonder if we could do it here in Cincinnati? We used to be part of a co-op, but we couldn't eat all of the fruits and veggies we got from it before they spoiled! I loved it, though, when we did that. We definitely we eating nice and healthy food for a great price! (PS- "recognizable foods" made me giggle!)

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  3. I said "recognizable foods" because we got Mei Qing Choi this week in our box. I had never heard of it at all! And I think they do have things like that all over. Just google CSA.

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  4. I'm so glad you posted this. I joined the carnival and wrote about "Real Food." Anyway, I've heard people talk about CSA boxes before but not in this much detail. After reading this it totally make me want to try it sometime. Maybe next year?

    Even without the CSA, our meals are often produce-focused because I know how important they are. But I bet we'd do even better if it was this type of situation. Or if we actually had room in our garden for more vegetables.

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