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  1. #1
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Default Community-Supported Agriculture

    Has anyone here ever joined a CSA? CSA = Community-Supported Agriculture. Most of them around here are single farms, you pay a share at the beginning of a season (usually a few hundred bucks) and all season long you get a weekly delivery (or some of them you have to go pick it up somewhere yourself) of whatever that farm grows. I've wanted to join a CSA before but I didn't like the idea of paying upfront and not knowing whether we'd like the food we got--visions of piles of Bok Choy, and no one wanting to eat it.

    I just found one that delivers in my area, though, that links up a whole bunch of NC farms, and operates on a weekly subscription fee instead of a seasonal share fee. For the weekly fee you get a certain number of points that you can use to choose whatever you like from what's available that week. Plus you can get meat, milk, bread, and some specialty stuff like jams and honey. All local.

    I've joined and I'm super excited about getting my first delivery next Saturday. If the first few weeks go well, I may up our subscription level and start automating our milk/meat/bread/produce purchasing. I just wondered if anyone else had used a CSA, what your experience was like, etc.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    I haven't, but it sounds like a cool concept, I wonder if chicago has anything like that.
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  3. #3
    unscannable Tigerlily's Avatar
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    This sounds like something I might want to try. Price wise, would you say this is comparable to the grocery store? Often times I run into the grocery to pick up milk/bread/eggs and walk out with other shit I really don't need, so this could save time and money.
    Time is a delicate mistress.

  4. #4
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Price wise it's about comparable to, say, Whole Foods or a co-op. My reasoning is similar to yours- as much as I can automate, I won't end up in the store buying stuff I see that I don't really need, so I think it will actually save us money over time.

    The selection is not as wide as the grocery store either, since they don't import from out of state. So like, for instance, right now they only have apples in the fruit section. But they are local and organic. I am pretty sure the one I joined delivers to your area and there's another one that might.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
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  5. #5
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Just got my first delivery from the CSA. This is so freaking cool! I got a beautiful bunch of broccoli, a bag of sweet potatoes, and a pound of tatsoi, some kind of leafy green I had never heard of. It is gorgeous, though. I hope it tastes good. I also got a loaf of challah bread, a dozen fresh eggs, grass-fed beef patties, a wedge of farmer's cheese, and a gallon of milk in 2 glass bottles (how old-fashioned is that- milk in glass bottles delivered to your doorstep?!).
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
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  6. #6
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if we have that around here, but we have a similar thing where they put together a box of produce with as much local stuff as possible but buy some from the grocery store, too. It's not organic, and what you get is random, depending on the season. The price seems roughly equivalent to buying produce on sale, maybe a bit pricier so I don't know if it's worth it for me. They claim that a 10$ box would cost 15-20$ shopping in the store, but that's not counting sales, and I very rarely buy produce when it isn't on sale. Still, I almost tried it this summer but you have to pick it up yourself and I was dreading trying to trek it home on the bus.

    You've reminded me to think about it again though - maybe I'll give it a shot. This one is just produce, though - the stuff you got sounds awesome!!

    edit: it seems there are actually many in my area, but quite expensive....about what I pay for all my food every month, but you only get produce (or very expensive meat farms). Still, it's an interesting idea.
    -end of thread-

  7. #7
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Yes. There are many around here so when I first moved, I was really excited to get involved with one. I found the cost to be reasonable, especially considering the amazing quality of the food. I don't belong anymore as I grow a lot of my own stuff but I always support local farms for the meat, poultry and produce I don't provide myself.

    http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

    That link has info for CSA's, farmers markets and other farms in your area.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

  8. #8
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    The taste of the tatsoi was too strong for the kids to eat raw (and they like to eat "leaves," as long as I don't call it lettuce or salad or greens) so we cooked it night before last. I blame myself. I tried to cook it like collards and I don't think it translated.

    Last night we had the broccoli and it was incredible. Just steamed, absolutely no salt or dressing of any kind, and the kids chowed down on it like it was candy.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  9. #9
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post

    Last night we had the broccoli and it was incredible. Just steamed, absolutely no salt or dressing of any kind, and the kids chowed down on it like it was candy.
    Try roasting it with a little butter and olive oil, S&P and garlic powder. I could eat it daily.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

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