2012 CSA Year in Review
It has been a couple of weeks since the CSA box subscription stopped and I don’t know why it has been hard to me to get this blog post done. Maybe, this means it’s over and I don’t know what to do with blogging or, more accurately, I’m ready for a little break in the blog. It doesn’t hurt that the holidays are here and I’m a little busy with other things so I have decent excuses for not being as actively posting. At any rate, here’s the breakdown for my first year of community supported agriculture …
The first thing everyone has asked me when talking about this whole CSA thing is “How much did it cost?” My family signed up for the full share, weekly box, that should feed 3-4 people. There are other, cheaper options if you are single or only want to get a box every other week. The full share pricing was:
- Spring weekly – $270
- Summer weekly – $348
- Autumn weekly – $216
- Summer fruit – $270
- Autumn fruit – $90
- TOTAL – $1149, paid in advance
Almost $1200 seems like a lot for fruit and veggies but here’s a better translation for what that really meant to me:
- The CSA schedule ran for seven months, 28 weeks. ($1149/28= $41 per week)
Did I get $41 worth of produce each week? No. The idea of average cost applies to this whole CSA box thing. The spring weeks were mostly greens and are definitely smaller. The late fall boxes are pumpkins, squash and potatoes. Now, those fruit and veggie boxes through mid-summer were FULL! The value over time was huge! I canned and froze and saved and shared all summer long. For the smaller boxes in the spring, the summer and fall boxes absolutely made up for the difference. If you have been following this blog for very long, you have seen all of the boxes and recipes and fun that I have had. That’s what this blog is really about — it was just an outlet for all of the meal planning and extra effort that I put into this experience. I have to say that I had a lot of fun with it but it wasn’t without a TON of work. I learned all about all kinds of new-to-me vegetables. I’ve never been a Betty Crocker-type but I like to have dinner at home with my family. The CSA experience is all about eating with your family — otherwise, those fresh veggies will go to waste. And, who wants that?
That’s the downside to the CSA thing. You can’t be lazy about it. There is a commitment to the CSA box. You have be in full gear to make use of whatever arrives each week or it will go bad on you in a hurry. Then, you have spent money for nothing and, frankly, missed out on probably the best food you could put your hands on for your area. There is really something to be said for the whole “Know Your Farmer” concept. I feel fantastic knowing that I spent my money locally on organic foods that were grown by a real farm in my area. That’s gold in my book. If you haven’t done it already, find your local CSA or farmer’s market and make a plan to try this for yourself next year. It is completely worth the effort. Try this website to see what resources are available where you live: Know Your Farmer
In the meantime, I’m working on a Top 10 list for this year and posting some of the highlights later this week. Any votes for Reader’s Favorite? Just add your favorite in the comments and keep checking to see which post is the favorite for the year!
And, if you would like to see some of the other things that I have been doing out in the world, please visit my photoblog at www.gingerleaphotography.com