Wednesday, March 14, 2007

CSA 2007

We received our newsletter from the CSA (Community Shares Agriculture) Farm that we purchased produce from last summer. Their price has gone up by $9 because they have just been certified as organic. Now we need to decide if we are going to purchase a share again this summer.

I really did love getting fresh vegetables and eating "local" every week, what I didn't like was the waste. It was very difficult to eat all of the produce each week and our idea was to split our share with another couple this year, which makes sense. However the more I think about it I'm not sure if that will be a good choice either. If we are splitting up the box of produce that means we are dividing up the stuff we like and will eat and still left with stuff that we may not eat and may not like, hense the waste. I'm thinking that it would make more sense for us to take the money we would spend and go to the Farmer's market every other week. I think $20-30 spent every 2 weeks will guarantee that we will have enough produce and the fact that we are chosing the items means that we are getting items that we like and will want to eat. By going to the Farmer's market we are supporting local growers and that satisfies our "eat local" stance. This also means that we can load up on farm eggs and local raised meat at the same time since these vendors are at the same market. Then I don't have to worry about picking up our share if we are out of town (Lilies/ WW) or trying to eat up everything when we are so busy each night during the summer. Neither of us have a lot of time to cook.

I would also like to take advantage of the berry growers in the area and do a "pick your own strawberry, blueberry and raspberry" visit this summer. Unfortunately we don't have much freezer space, but I can set a small amount aside.

La Finca has introduced a new item called the "Fall Share" and it is 2 deliveries, one in October and one in November and you get roughly 2 grocery bags worth of fall produce in each share. It costs $100 and that sounds like something we could do. This is produce that is meant to last a while, although I don't think it would last all the way through the winter. Unfortunately P does not like a lot of the fall veggies (like squash) and I can only eat so much. Maybe we can split that with another couple? I'm also tempted to get the poultry share but it seems a bit on the expensive side. 4 deliveries of 3 half chickens each for $95. Yikes.

Local Harvest is a great site to find organic/ sustainable farmers, farmer markets, natural food stores and restaurants in the US. It also allows for someone to search by product, which is a great tool. St. Paul Farmer's Market summer hours start in a couple of weeks! I'm hoping to catch a ride on Sundays with friends who live down the road when they start going in May, but I will probably go by myself as well. I like going early in the morning.


angie said...

thanks for the info. on the community shares. A very interesting idea. Miss ya!

Rachel said...

Hey Liz,

I go to the Farmer's Market during the summer and I go very early (like to watch everyone set up). Jacque does not really enjoy going, but if you would like to meet me there sometimes that would be great. There is also a market right by my work on Thursdays, so if you need something in a pinch, let me know and I can pick it up and bring it to knitting.

Liz said...

I would ove the early am visit. Let's talk about that tonight. Tim isn't much for early rising on the weekend himself.

Anonymous said...

This is really interesting. We're planning on putting in a garden this year, because it just galls me to buy vegetables at ridiculous markups and with who-knows-what chemicals all over them. I'm also very interested in trying out the Pick Your Own berry places.

My *plan* is to put up a lot of this stuff for next winter.


Sarah said...

I know zucchini dehydrates well and is great to add to foods cooked in slices or crushed. When we have some I add it to my pizza sauce all blended up in the blender. I would like to go tooo. :D