We’ve received a month’s worth of shares from the community supported agriculture group we joined and I thought it was time to update on how it’s worked out for us.
The first couple weeks were what they predicted—almost entirely greens. This meant we had some good salads, but it didn’t really affect our grocery bill. However the last two weeks have been much better. We’ve gotten broccoli, beets, radishes, rhubarb, potatoes, scallions, snow peas, and a variety of greens. We’ve still have to buy the protein part of the meal, but it’s cut our grocery bill at least in half.
It’s also required a good deal of flexibility in the kitchen. I discovered what a rhubarb even looked like (word of warning, don’t try to eat a small slice, they taste like death without being cooked in sugar) and how to make yummy roasted beets. (Sliced, olive oil, salt & pepper, place on tin-foil-covered cookie sheet, cover with tinfoil, bake at 400F for 30 min.) Some of this stuff I’d never even tried before either because it wasn’t interesting or because I was convinced I wouldn’t like it. I think the summer is going to broaden my recipe base and my tastes too.
The Best Thing About Community-Supported Agriculture
The best thing hands-down is the taste! The food is incredibly fresh and the flavor is fantastic. I knew that it was going to be better than what we were getting at Giant, but I was still surprised by how much better it tastes.
Nothing is over-ripe or under-ripe because it’s been shipped hundreds or thousands of miles, so far everything we’ve gotten has been at its peak. This tastes like the way food is supposed to taste. I’m very excited about that and looking forward to the rest of the summer!
Because it’s fresh, you do have to use it sooner than you might have to use something you bought at the store that’s already been on the road for a week and was picked early so it wouldn’t spoil. But I haven’t had a problem with the food lasting less than a week and we get weekly shipments.
The Worst Thing About Community-Supported Agriculture
It’s not all that bad, but one doesn’t get to select what one gets every week. If you’re able to go to a Farmer’s Market and actually do go, then that might be the better option for you. (If you don’t actually go, then a CSA is better than the regular grocery.)
Besides not being able to pick the type of things you get, you also have a bit less selection when it comes to quality. So far we’ve only gotten one head of lettuce that I chucked for poor quality and we got an apology note saying that the farmer was trying a new washing spinner and had set it too high. Otherwise it’s been about the same kind of quality toss-up one experiences at a grocery store (but better flavor all-round), mostly good stuff.
On the whole, we’re feeling very pleased with our decision to join.
The fruit shares start in July, more exciting possibilities!