I really want my kids to grow up with a taste for healthy food, and an understanding of where food comes from and what good food choices look like. (Click through for a few pictures if you aren't seeing them.) One of my biggest tools for good has been a CSA share, or Community Sponsored Agriculture. Basically, we give a local farmer a chunk of money up front in the spring, and we get boxes of produce through the summer and fall. In my family's case the box is delivered to our front door (for a fee). As a family unit, here's the up side:
- Fresh, organically-raised produce delivered to the front door
- All kinds of crazy fun vegetables like purple carrots
- Cost-wise the vegetables work out to be more expensive than conventional, but less than buying only organic at the store, so far anyway
- Our particular CSA invites us to visit the farm
- Timing and quantity: Did you know if it is raining when you pick strawberries you have to eat, cook or freeze them all that day? The higher water content makes them go bad quickly. This is definitely a first world type of problem but food waste can be an issue. I have wandered the neighbourhood with produce to give away. I've also invested in a deep freeze.
- Sometimes we really do end up with something we find hard to use up like the time we got a bounty of tomatillos (Baby Potato Salad with Salsa Verde is a recipe I'm keeping on hand in case that happens this year...but my husband doesn't love salsa verde)
- Produce does arrive with more dirt on it. I invested in a high-end salad spinner. (That phrase just makes me laugh but...I did.)