Thursday, April 23, 2009

What Has Me Excited Today...CSA

Have you ever heard of a CSA, community supported agriculture? Perhaps I'm late on the information but I'm excited nonetheless. In my quest for a healthier lifestyle, I constantly look for opportunities to improve the quality of food I purchase. It concerns me that many of our foods have origins many miles away - the same foods that are available right in our backyards. Seriously, please explain to me how it is possible for grocery stores in the Southeastern United States to sell shrimp shipped from the far east of the world significantly cheaper than it is to sell shrimp straight out of the Gulf Coast or out of the waters of Savannah? How is it that foods harvested and grown thousands of miles away are cheaper than foods locally grown? My guess is there has to be some sort of compromise in the integrity of the product, but hey, I could be completely wrong. What are the checks and balances? How about the quality control? Oops, I digressed, back to the CSA ...

Per Local Harvest, community supported agriculture has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season. The rates vary among participating farms but I think the prices are reasonable. I plan on signing up and splitting a package with a friend.

For more information, check out Local Harvest's website here. You can type in your zip code to find CSAs in your area. Of course, if you have a really good farmer's market in your area, you have the best option since there is no minimum commitment.

Happy healthy eating,

5 comments:

Money Funk said...

I wish I could participate in my local CSA, but they deliver when i cannot get to them. You will have to learn to cook and freeze in order to prepare and use all that wonderful food. I hope you will share some of your cooking and experience with the CSA. :)

Ms. MoneyChat said...

MoneyFunk: using all of the food was definitely one of my concerns. to help ensure that i don't waste the food and therefore my money, i'm going to split 1/2 share with a friend and we're going to commit for the minimum time of 12 weeks. if all else fails, i can always through the veggies in the juicer and chase them down w/some apples or pineapples ...they make any veggie combo taste good out of the juicer;-).

mydebtcomeback said...

wow...i just found your blog and your layout is amazing. well done!! i love your title area...i wish i knew how to do that.

Shtinkykat said...

That is amazing! And I love how you're sharing a "subscription" with a friend. I guess another option is to donate some of it to the local food bank? Something to chew on. (No pun intended.) Thanks for the great 411.

Ms. MoneyChat said...

mydebtcomeback - thanks so much! welcome to my blog, hopefully you'll stick around;-).

shtinky - great idea. i'm so ashamed that i didn't think of that. sometimes the food banks want nonperishable foods so i'm thinking that i may look up my local soup kitchens and keep them on tap when i have excess or even when i just want to make a dontation. thanks again.