Tuesday, February 22, 2011

CSA: Local Produce to Your Door

CSA = Community Supported Agriculture.

In 2008, CSAs started, but I was still living in the dorms and had no clue that fresh produce wasn't what I was finding in the salad lines in the food halls on campus. However, now that I have been cooking in my own kitchen for J and I over the past two years I have quickly learned that produce comes in all degrees of deliciousness and fresh grown is usually the tastiest! That said, finding affordable (remember, I'm still in college and am getting married so soon!) and delicious organic produce can be such a challenge.

Cue CSAs wearing their SuperCSA shirt over a muscly chest and tight pants with a big flowing red cape!

Yep, you can get your fresh produce, all organic, AND support local farms through your local CSA website. Seriously, you google CSA [    insert city here   ] and boom you have found yourself local farms! I looked through San Diego ones and had a hard time making up my mind for the one that I loved the most. The best part, you are sent a box of fresh local produce that's in season, so you never really know what you're going to get! This could be the perfect way to create an ingredient challenge for yourself. See how one mom uses her frozen CSA corn from summer to warm up her winter here.

The prices range anywhere from 20 to 70 dollars a week (but you can sign up however you want depending on the local farm that you choose to use) and if you have a roommate it would be a great cost to split and box to share.

In New York City, CSAs are making a major connection between the children growing up in the city and the rural farmers found miles away in the countryside. The Harrison Patch, a newspaper from Harrison, New York, discusses the benefits of investing in CSAs, not only on children, but also on the greater New York population:
CSAs also support the state economy, take power away from the industrial food system and reduce people's exposure to pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified foods.
J and I are going to look through the San Diego CSA sites tonight over dinner. If you haven't considered local, organic produce for yourself, check it out now. Not only are you helping yourself, but you are also helping your local economy and your family!