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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been thinking about joining/buying shares in a <a href="http://www.brookfieldfarm.org/intro.html" target="_blank">CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)</a> farm program.<br><br>
(If you're familier with CSA's you'll know what I'm talking about)<br><br><br><br>
If you're unfamilier with CSA's, here's my public service announcement - they are SO COOL!<br><br>
They are small, local, (usually organic!!) farms in my (your!!) community where you buy a "share" of the harvest, they call it becoming a "shareholder" of the farm.<br><br>
(The yearly share price supports the actual running costs of the farm.)<br><br>
In return, the farm supplies each "shareholder" with their weekly share of produce based on the actual production of the farm.<br><br>
Or, in otherwords, in exchange for your "share" contribution you get a big ol' box of fresh, just-picked produce EVERY WEEK right from the farm! Some even deliver. It's a GREAT way to get garden goodies every week ALL SUMMER and even into the fall.<br><br><br><br>
Google "CSA farms" and the name of your general area to see if there's any around you, you may be surprised!<br><br><br><br>
OK, so anyway, I had planned to sign up the last two years and we ended up being gone so much/not remembering to sign up at the right time, etc...but am pretty set on doing it this year and I'm so excited!<br><br>
In our neighborhood, for the farm we'd join, it breaks down to about 38$ a week for quite a good size box of fresh produce (easily enough for the 4 of us for most veggie <i>and</i> fruits for a week, give or take, I think I'd still have to buy specific items on occassion).<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.fullcirclefarm.com/csa.html" target="_blank">THIS FARM</a> is similar to the one where I'd be buying shares.<br><br><br><br>
So, has anone else had experience with these? Used or joined one? Did you get good service? Use all the veggies? Feel you got your $$ worth? (I prefer to see my $$ going directly to the farmer than to a big mega-chan grocery and I don't have other good options for organic produce around here anyway).<br><br><br><br>
Any suggestions or experience with CSA's anyone? I'd love to hear about it!
 

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I want to BE one! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/dancingbanana.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":nana:">
 

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i had been wanting to join one for a while and finally did last year and plan to this year. we could get a full or a half share. given i have a family of 4 vegans, we got the full share. for a non veg family it would have definitely been wayyy tooo much. it was about $22 a week for 20 weeks for a full share. the produce was all organic and i could not have bought conventional produce in the store for $22 to equal the amount of organic produce i got. the boxes of produce got bigger as the season went on. i make a lot of food from scratch and was able to stock my freezer with tons of soups and stews. it saved us bigtime on produce. i had to buy fruit and an occasional veggie depending on what i was making but still--what a great deal.<br><br>
if you do not have time to cook much or learn about how to store and prepare xyz veg then it might not be a good deal if stuff is going to waste. for a non veg family of 4 where 2 parents work i would not suggest it at all because of the work involved. on farm nights i would pick up my produce around 330 and be working to store/use it off and on (mostly on) until 7, 8, 9 o clock in the evening depending on what i had. it was an enormous amount of work but well worth it for us. our farm let us take as many beet greens as we wanted each week (he had a ton so we werent told only to take xyz amount as we were with other stuff). no one else seemed interested in the beet greens so i would always come home with 2 huge bags that i had to use up so that was extra work each week but worth it to me. my freezer still has plenty of greens we have been using up and will continue to do so. every night i was in that kitchen for hours--not just pick up days. i would have to figure out what to do with the produce trying to use more perishable stuff up first.<br><br>
i move smoothly in the kitchen and enjoy doing so but it is a lot of work. our farmer would have papers each week for every veg that was out that week. the papers would have storage tips, recipes and a whole lot of info on that particular veg. i felt so good doing it and cannot believe i did not do it sooner.<br><br><a href="http://www.greenearthinstitute.org" target="_blank">www.greenearthinstitute.org</a><br><br>
that is the one we belonged to and it is fabulous!!<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 

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My wife worked on an organic CSA last year. She got college credits for it, so she only got some leftover food from it.<br><br><br><br>
This year she's volunteering on it to get a full share. We're pretty excited. We try to do just about anything to save money. Even if she didn't volunteer, we'd pay, cause I think it's cheaper usually than from the store as well as going directly to the farmer. At the start of the year, it might be a wash, because there's more salad mixes than other stuff. I guess we'll find out if we use all the food this year.<br><br><br><br>
She is working at the local Co-Op in the produce department. So she brings home lots of culled out veggies and fruit now. We do a pretty good job at using that up, and I'm hoping we'll be able to do the same with the CSA stuff.<br><br><br><br>
Here's the link to the one (one of the several here) <a href="http://css.wsu.edu/organicfarm/CSA.htm" target="_blank">here</a>.
 

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I've looked into CSAs in my area and they look so cool! Unfortunately, when we called about getting a share, they said they were all full at current. The person on the phone said they'd get back to us if any spots open up, but that was a few months ago. I really should call back because it sounded amazing.
 

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I am joining one this year or planting my own garden. I am unsure yet but I think I am going to buy a share and help too. The one here gives you a discounted for working/helping. I mainly want to help in hopes of meeting other environmental vegans etc. not for the money although that is nice too!
 

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I am definitely joining one this year........I was going to last year but we traveled so much and i never signed up........<br><br>
but anyway one of my patienst just told me recently he is doing CSA now so I am buying a share of his. He lives very close to me, closer than the other 2 in my general area, so this will work out good hopefully.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow. Cool! It's good to hear the different views.<br><br><br><br>
Smedley; I had already decided that I am probably going to opt for the smaller share because even though there's 4 of us, a.) my kids aren't HUGE vegetable eaters and b.) I won't have near that kind of time to devote to prep and storage.<br><br><br><br>
On the plus side, I do have a large freezer, and grew up freezing and canning vegetables from my Mom's garden so I can do that pretty efficiently, hopefully I don't let any go to waste!<br><br><br><br>
I had been all excited to do this the last two summers and wasn't able to - what a bummer when it didn't work out; I'm really hoping it works out this year.
 
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