Top Reasons to Join a CSA this Year

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First haul of the CSA last year.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you are already well acquainted with my love of all things fresh produce.  From going organic whenever possible, to buying local, I always try to get the best, most fresh fruits and veggies into my diet.  This all started last year when I read Jessica Alba’s book, The Honest Life.  In one of the first few chapters she mentioned CSAs, and I was immediately intrigued.  I immediately started doing some research into what a CSA really was, and joined a local one that same week.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  Basically, you are buying a share in a local farmer’s crops for the season.  Bountiful crops = bountiful baskets each week.  Unexpected heavy rain could = ruined lettuce, and no greens in your basket that week.  You are sharing that risk with the farmer, but in exchange, getting the most fresh, amazing produce each week.  (Seriously, if you haven’t tasted a fresh picked, locally grown strawberry in the height of the season you are missing out.  It is the sweetest thing.  You can’t get anything like it in your local grocery store.)  And, I found that I was getting not only a better quality than my grocery store, but also saving money in the long run.

Last year, I split a full share with my parents and we had more than enough to go around.  Our season started with crowd favorites like strawberries and lettuce, but we also got to experience new vegetables that we wouldn’t have normally opted to pick, like kohlrabi.  It was exciting to pick up your haul each week, because you never knew what would be in the basket.  (Sometimes, even a furry little caterpillar – hey, it is fresh from the farm – which I admittedly made my dad relocate to the yard.)  Jersey corn by the dozen, a variety of apples, fresh flowers, even zucchini and rainbow carrots.  It became almost a game trying to figure out how we would use the produce each week.

I’ve already signed up for this year, and I already can’t wait for it to start!  However, there is still time for you to get in on your local CSA, so I wanted to put together my list of my top reasons to join, besides the obvious – i.e. being healthy for you. CSA

So, are you going to join your local CSA this year?  How about visiting your local farmer’s market?

xoxo – SavvySleever

3 comments

  1. s.tierney08@gmail.com'
    Samantha Tierney says:

    I am very interested in joining a CSA. Where do you suggest I start with researching where to find and how to chose one?

    • team.horowitz@gmail.com'
      Savvysleever says:

      Awesome question! Here is a helpful site for finding CSAs in New Jersey – http://jerseyfresh.nj.gov/find/communitysupportedag.html

      Also, I’d recommend looking at the farm’s website and social media pages to see if it looks like it will be a good fit. There were two possibilities in my county, but I picked the one that had the bigger grow period and more Farm events (like pumpkin and apple picking). They should also be able to tell you generally what crops they are expecting, which would be a good way to judge if it is right for you.

      Here is the link for my CSA, which lists not only the prices, but also has FAQs, crop lists, and photos of what you can expect from an average share size. http://www.vonthunfarms.com/frequently-asked-csa-questions/csa-program/

      Hope that helps!

  2. ljg.horowitz@gmail.com'
    judy says:

    Thank you for reminding me why visiting local farmers’ markets are so much fun upstate. There is very little in common between a tomato that grows in most supermarkets and those that grow in fields. The same goes for corn and so many fruits. One day, I will be adventurous as you–maybe, and try fruits and vegetables I can’t pronounce. But, for now….can’t wait for summer!

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