Last March, I wrote about a few ways to green your spring. It looks like I’m craving the sunny weather earlier this year, as I’m already thinking about spring in Portland. (Well really, summer. Spring is usually just rain rain rain here.)
One of the tips I mentioned last spring is to try out a CSA box. (Community Supported Agriculture.) So, I’m basically here to repeat myself :) Well, two things. I think last March I only had about 5 readers, so I want to spread the word about this awesome program to a few more people. And, I just really, really love it.
What is a CSA exactly, you may ask?
I bet most of you know about them, but just in case: its a subscription-based program to purchase fresh produce from local farms. Subscribers pay for a share of the upcoming harvest from a local farm and pick up fresh fruits and veggies each week. Our CSAs have lasted 18 and 20 weeks, but some go for 28 weeks and I’ve even found one year-round program. And they deliver right to your house!
The cost varies, and some farms have different size shares (for a family of 2 versus a family of 4 or 5). Most are organic but all are local. The bounty depends on the success of the growing season, but even in the past two wet, not-so-sunny seasons in Portland, we’ve received lots of fresh, yummy vegetables.
(Here’s a link to find options in your area: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/)
Here’s an example of one a typical Portland CSA box:
There are so many benefits to subscribing: fresh produce that tastes great and packed full of nutrients, trying new things you’d otherwise never buy at the grocery store, and supporting local farmers. Just gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling all the way around :)
Plus you learn all sorts of new things. Like eating tons of beets will turn your pee red, make you panic, and run to WebMD to make sure you’re not experiencing weird blood loss. TMI?
Of course, there are some cons, like having to pick your box up at the same place and time each week, which isn’t always convenient. But its well worth it.
One concern we had was not eating all the food. For this reason, we share with our in-laws. I also learned how to can food last summer, so I now know what to do with the fresh veggies we won’t eat in time. You can also freeze some things. We got little pie pumpkins last year so I pureed the pumpkin and froze it. Its currently thawing on the counter waiting to be made into delicious muffins.
So that’s enough. I’m stepping off my farm-fresh, delicious, CSA soap box now :)
Turns out I’m not the only blogger who loves their CSA. Check out these blogs that either solely focus on CSAs and cooking, or at least discuss it a lot:
Cooking 4 the Week
its all happening!
And two different blogs with very similar names:
Cooking Through My CSA Box
Cooking My Way Through My CSA
Have you ever tried a CSA subscriptions? What was the best part about it? What would you like to change? Did the side effect of too many beets freak you out too?
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