Lately I've been thinking a lot about food - specifically, what it is that I'm putting into my body and making for my family everyday. It might be because having a toddler has made me hyper-aware that everything she eats is organic, pesticide-free, chemical-free, and 100% healthy for her growing bones. Or maybe its because the spring season has me thinking about indulging in a cleanse and working on rebooting my well-being with regular exercise, healthy eating and a little less alcohol. Serendipitously, a few days ago my sister mentioned that she just got her husband a subscription to a CSA for his birthday. "What's that?" I asked. She went on to explain CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and it is a program that allows consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Basically, a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. A share is typically a box of vegetables and fruits, but sometimes other farm products can be included. Consumers purchase a share (think membership or subscription) and in return receive a box of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season. The produce is organic, locally grown and the freshest you can find - 3 ingredients in healthy and delicious meals.
|Planting tomato seedlings at Capay Organic Farm, March 2012.|
After some research, I've decided to try the CSA Farm Fresh To You, located in Capay Valley, California. Unlike many CSA's, Farm Fresh To You requires no commitment and you can cancel or suspend your service at any time (great if you travel a lot). It also gives you options for weekly, bi-weekly or monthly delivery which was the lynch pin for me. Although I aspire to cook almost every night, if I manage to do it 4 days a week, I feel like a success. I've started with the monthly delivery and am going to go from there. Also, you can customize your selections with a mostly fruit or mostly vegetable option, so you know what you are going to receive before it shows up on your doorstep. The average box ranges from $22 - $44 which is SIGNIFICANTLY less that what I pay for organic produce at our local market.
To find the CSAs in your area, go to LocalHarvest.org and type in your zip code or state.
Do any of you have a share in a local CSA or have your produce delivered to you? Where do you buy your organic produce? I'd love to hear your experiences and/or recommendations. For those of you in the U.K. or other countries outside the U.S., do you have similar services available to you? I'm still mulling a cleanse and if I take the plunge, I'll definitely report back! Hope you are having a great week!