Monday, September 8, 2008

It's True, I'm A Veggie Goddess.

After spending the morning leaving thoughtful, lengthy, serious comments on a few blogs, I realized I'm worn out and exhausted from all this analyzing, discussing, and being so darn excited and passionate.

It's tiring, challenging, and disheartening to talk to people who have come to different conclusions than you, no? It's much easier to think, "I'm right, they're wrong. Closing my ears to any other opinion. Lalalalalah, I can't hear you!"

The humility of dialogue brings much more moderation and sustainability than merely surrounding ourselves with people, newspapers, magazines, and blogs that think like we do.

That being said, I think it's time I tackle another serious topic: CSAs.

Some of you might be thinking: What the heck is a CSA?

Say is with me now: Community supported agriculture is the best thing ever. Ever ever ever.

Here's basically how it works - you pay a farmer a lump sum at the beginning of the season, in the spring. Ours was $290. Then for several months - ours is 16 weeks - you get a heap of fresh, locally grown, healthy vegetables every week. We're about 11 weeks into it, and it's seriously the best decision we made this summer.

Here's my top Six Awesome Things About CSAs

1. VARIETY! I get to try veggies I wouldn't normally buy. Like beets. When would I ever buy beets? Never. But now I know if you roast them in the oven with potatoes and green beans, they are slightly sweet and completely delicious!

2. Deliciousness: Fresh, just-picked watermelon is one of the most delicious tastes ever. When the food doesn't have to travel as far, it's much more fresh when we, the consumers, get it! (Bonus! That means it takes longer for it to spoil. Truly wonderful for a procrastinating cook like myself.)

3. Support Local Business: When you buy food from the grocery store, the farmer takes a pay cut. When you buy directly - you save and the farmer gets more! Plus, supporting your local economy instead of a generic agribusiness keeps money in your area. Win-win. Except for the Big Guy. Sorry, Big Guy.

4. Meet Your Farmer: Many people don't think about where their food comes from, especially children. Ask a child where strawberries come from, and they often say "the grocery store!" What a wonderful experience, then, to understand the story of your food. Local food is a handshake deal in a community gathering place. - Barbara Kingsolver

5. Forces Me to be Healthy: Let's face it, once I have a fridge full of already-paid-for fresh veggies in my fridge, I'm motivated to cook dinner with those instead of ordering pizza. My grocery bill is surprisingly low, because I don't buy much else besides cereal, soy milk, and cheese!

6. Slash Your Food Miles: The average piece of food travels 1,500 miles to get to your plate (source). Our veggies are grown 50 miles away. That saves a TON of gas transporting our veggies.

Sound good? Then check out Local Harvest for a list of CSAs near you. This season is wrapping up, but try to get signed up for next year! It's a great value, healthy, delicious, and better for the environment.


  1. The beau's family participates in a CSA, in co-opt form. They spend a Saturday helping on the farm and probably pay a little cash and -voila!- weekly veggies! We've been meaning to find one in our new town but I'm thinking it's too late for that. :-(

  2. I checked that site a few months back and was blown away by how many local farmers there are

    of course, I was broke as a joke and couldn't partake but i'm certainly thinking about it for the next summer

    i SERIOUSLY love this idea

  3. I joined CSA this year, and I love it. It's an organic farm to boot. Unfortunately, my cost it $450 for a season for a small share. But I still love it :) I get to support local business and eat all these fresh organic veggies. They also have a winter program, so I get to support them year around.

  4. first, I love the way you write! Second, that's AWESOME! I have a similar organic delivery of {some local} produce {} but it's not the same as a local farmer! I wish! Honestly, I wish I could grow my own but in a condo in LA, there's just no space.

    I agree that when my fridge is stocked with veggies...we eat WAY more healthy - it's hard not to.

  5. Renee: Good point! Some CSAs give you the option to pay less and require a bit of farm work. At least you have farmer's markets if you can't get a CSA!

    Deutlich: I've been wanting to sign up for one for AGES. Finally, we set aside the money this year. And we're totally SAVING money! Crazy!

    Scifichick: I should have pointed out that you can ask your farmer about his farming practices - because some small farms can't afford to be certified, but are, organic! (Personally, our farmer is working towards zero pesticide use. But isn't QUITE there yet.)

    Maegan: I'm flattered, thanks! I would LOVE to grow food, but we move too often and live in small spaces. Maybe someday...the midwest/Great Lakes region is PERFECT for growing food!

  6. glad you had such a positive experience with a CSA! I'm inspired to check one out for next year! :)

  7. that sounds like an AMAZING idea.
    i'm going to look into finding this in canada for next year! =)
    thanks for the info!

  8. What a fantastic idea! I've always wanted to participate in something like this, but wasn't sure where to get started. Thanks for the info.

  9. i looove veggies too... very good idea!!!

  10. i just checked and the closet CSA is about 30+ miles from me ::sad face::

    but we do buy from our local farmer's market (not $200 worth, but still) so that's still something, right?

  11. This is such a great idea! I love fresh veggies and fruit. I'll have to look into it and see what my options are. Thanks for the info!

  12. What a great idea! I'd never heard of CSAs until now. I wonder if they have any around here...

  13. Thank you so much for educating on this subject! I had never heard of such a thing, and I would definitely be willing to drop that amount of money for what you are getting and how it helps in so many ways! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!

  14. That is soo neato-(veggie)burrito! You truly are a veggie goddess! Gooo Ashley! Dang, I really need to start eating more veggies! And finish that book I started reading by Barbara Kingsolver!

  15. awesome! i am so going to look into this!!

  16. I love shopping at our local farmers markets. Love it. Beautiful photo, by the way.

  17. That sounds great! I wish I would have tried it earlier. Maybe next year when you do your buying you can blog about it and I can follow the trend!

    MMMMM veggies!

  18. Is there a site like this for canada?


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