We all know that eating a lot of fruits and veggies is at the top of any healthy eating plan. The Dr. Sears L.E.A.N. program is no different. If you are going to try and get 10-13 servings of fresh fruits and veggies every day you need to find an affordable source of produce. We have been spending a fortune at our local grocer. As we get better and better about eating more fruits and veggies each week, our grocery bill has been going UP UP UP! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to feel punished (huge grocery bill) for doing what is good and healthy for my family. Enter the CSA. I knew nothing at all about CSAs until last fall. CSA, if you haven’t heard the term before, stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, you are cutting out the middle man, the grocery store, and you get amazing, fresh in-season LOCAL produce. You get to know the people who are growing the food you feed your family and you get to support a family or group of families in your community. Your produce never rides on a plane, sits in traffic in the back of a tractor trailer for hours, and never gets squashed on the shelves at the grocery store. Pretty cool right? So if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Here is the downside…there are a lot of choices for CSAs out there. I had you worried didn’t I? This is a wonderful problem to have. There are CSAs for every budget, some are organic and some aren’t. Some you can pick up at the farm, some are picked up at a more central location. Figure out what works for your budget and your family.
A friend recently told me about Marvin’s Produce. For just $15 per week you get a lovely box of produce. It isn’t organic, but you don’t have to sign a contract, and heck it is just $15 per week. Here was her first box of produce. I was really impressed with the amount of produce as well as the variety of colors.
Another option is Noisy Rabbit. The fee is similar to Marvin’s Produce at $15/week, but you have to sign a contract to get this pricing and pay a $42/year membership fee. If you choose the non-contract option, the price for a basket of produce jumps to $20/week. I have several friends who have used the Noisy Rabbit and have been quite pleased.
This is our first year trying out a CSA and have chosen Bio-Way Farm in Ware Shoals. Their CSA fees are more per week ($30), but they provide Certified USDA Organic produce, which is a must in our household. We are so excited to get our first basket in May!
I literally grew up in the middle of farm land. There were cows to our right, across the “street” (dirt road) was a field of corn, and in our back field and the field next to us was feed for the cows. CSA was a way of life, I just didn’t know that it had a name. Now that we don’t live in the middle of farmland I am so excited to find out that we can still get FRESH produce from the farm. I felt like doing a happy dance when I got an email from the farm manager welcoming us to the CSA program. Buying food from a real person, a real family, is the best feeling.
I encourage you to do your research. Some CSAs are probably full, but there is still time. Ask your real-life friends, your Facebook friends, your healthcare providers, and anyone you meet if they get produce from a CSA. Find out who they like and give it a try. Let me know who you decide to use this year and tell me about your experience.
Have fun meeting a local farming family!