One question I get time and time again is “I eat organic. How can I save money?”
And it truly is the easiest answer…
Join a CSA.
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. I’ve belonged to one for the last four years. They provide great locally grown produce that feeds my family in the summer and winter. (Because I freeze and can.) And nine-times-out-of-ten the produce will be organic – it just isn’t “certified” -because the farmer’s can’t afford the certification process.
However, I understand that the concept of a CSA can be scary.
Questions like, “Do I have to work on the farm? Isn’t this just for hippies? Where do I go to pick up my produce? What kind of stuff will they give me?” can come to mind.
So if you are new to CSAs or have questions about which CSA is right for you, here are some resources to help you choose the right one for you.
Check out localharvest.org. It will provide you with all of the local CSA in your area and their contact information. It also helps you get an idea of the costs and the produce you will be receiving, as well as if you are able to come out to the farm and help with the harvest.
Attend the Kansas City Food Circle Exhibition of Farmers.You will be able to meet many of the local CSA providers face-to-face, as well as discuss their specific programs. It is also a great place to get information about grass-fed beef, ostrich, and range-free chicken.
There are two events coming up:
March 30 – 9 am to 2 pm at the Shawnee Civic Center in Shawnee, KS.
April 6 - 9:30 am to 2:30 pm at the Penn Valley Community College Gym in Kansas City, MO
Admission and parking are free. And if you are even remotely interested in local and organic produce – this is a great event to really understand the ins-and-outs of different programs.
I believe that Hen House’s program is the most cost-effective and easiest to use.
- You pick up at the store on either a Saturday or Wednesday.
- You can trade items out. If you don’t like Kale – you can trade for another “equal” item because all items are assigned points and can be mixed and matched.
- It’s only $25 per week and that includes meat, produce and bread. And while it is a bit of splurge for our budget, I have NEVER been disappointed with my items.
- The support local farmers in the area that may be too small to do their own CSA but have amazing quality produce.
Are any of you current or former CSA members? Which programs do you like?