CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)
In some form or another you’ve heard of it. This is a food co-op where farmers from around a specified region bring their wares, divvy them up and people from around that county pick up a varied box of fresh, local organic produce. Perceived value is the issue here.
It costs a little more than your local grocery but, you get what you pay for. Our particular CSA is Garden of Eden Organics. They had the nearest location drop off for us and had room on the list for us to join. Many CSA’s are booked up or too far away…or too pricey.
We paid $420 for 12 weeks, ($35 a week). What’s your weekly produce budget?
A better question might be; what is your weekly local organic produce budget. Until the general population demands healthier eating lifestyles, veggies will always be more expensive then things out of a box. Inexpensive organic veggies ARE a viable option for our future, but things will need to change.
Rely on ourselves
Our government funding was set up to subsidize certain agricultural and farming industries that focus on one item; and to produce as much of that one item as possible. Things like wheat, corn, soybeans…you know, the “filler”. That made it nearly impossible for small farmers across the country to turn a profit. We as a culture began producing mass quantities of cheap food available anytime, anywhere, which definitely has it’s addictive delicious ups…but the downs of cheap food, big business and a lack of nutritional IQ have proven quite detrimental to our societies physical and mental health. Not to be all hippie-dippie but; the farther away we go from fresh food, the farther away we go from each other. /rant
Back to the badass deliciousness of fresh local vegetation. The veggies we get from our weekly box are varied and wonderful with varieties I’ve never seen or heard of. Everything tastes as it should, carrots deep with flavor, cucumbers that are sweet, perfect melons(gigitty), fresh herbs, crisp sweet lettuce and the list goes on.
Another thing I love is what the veggies force you into with your diet. Creativity abounds because you have to make a meal with something you might have never cooked before. If you feel lost or confused about what to do, just use teh interwebz to look up a quick and easy recipe. Many CSA’s will post recipes on their web-sites or blogs. My wife was recently perplexed about mustard greens which are a spicy bitter green not unlike kale. She did a fine job sauteing them up with a little garlic and olive oil but was only really stoked about their uber-nutritive value. So yes, sometimes you receive something that isn’t your favoritest ever, but it’s usually highly nutritious and maybe you have a friend who’s a chef and can point you in the right preparational direction ;-)
Watermelon martini’s and a fresh crunchy chicken salad were my inspiration this particular week.
Destroyer of fresh blackberries