Spring is not only known for spring cleaning, but also for getting ready for gardening, flip flops and long weekends. Maybe a few extra beers in there too. In any case, I look forward to gardening, the scents that come with spring and fresh produce the most. Also, the disappearing act of snow. Unfortunately, we do not have a lot of room, actually, no room to plant a garden. But we hated the idea of paying the ever increasing costs of produce at the grocery store, and it’s not even organic. AND it’s shipped from all over the country and some from Latin America.
There is a solution! Subscribe to a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). In essence, you pay an upfront “subscription” fee, then for months June through October you get a box of veggies (or two boxes depending upon the size of share you opt for). My husband and I did the CSA thing the last 2 years. We picked up our box once a week from a designated pickup site and the produce (organic – our CSA was anyways) vary from week to week, based on the season. Initially we received a lot of lettuces, herbs, radishes and potatoes. Then, tomatoes, raspberries, beets and cucumbers towards the middle of the season. Then for fall, squash, pumpkins, garlic and anything left over was in our share. 2 years ago our CSA actually allowed all those interested to come down to the farm and pick as many tomatoes as we could fill in 4 HUGE pails. We managed to can enough to take us through 2 winters.
The benefits to CSA are numerous.
- You have the ability to try new veggies. I found that I REALLY love kohlrabi and I have never tried one before we signed up for a CSA.
- You are more apt to “eat your vegetables.” Every meal we had featured vegetables of some sort.
- You support the local economy. The farms that provide CSA’s need subscribers like you to continue to operate, in some cases. CSA’s may be their only means of income.
- It’s a less carbon footprint. Our veggies only traveled 45 miles to get to us. As opposed to coming from California, Mexico or Florida to Fargo ND.
- It’s fun! You never know what you are going to get. It’s like opening a present.
- It saves you a trip to the grocery store. Some CSA’s actually deliver to your work place (if there’s enough interest).
- Many CSA’s are organic, so you are not getting veggies covered in synthetic fertilizers.
With all of those benefits, why not? Especially if you do not have the ability to garden yourself. As you are taking out the flip flops and the lawn furniture, why don’t you consider signing up for a CSA! It is worth it in so many ways!