This is Day 120 of the Green in 365 series!
By Renee from Joyful Mom
I miss my mint. I miss my tomatoes, my chives, my apple trees, pear trees and . . . well you get the idea. In my old house I didn’t have a huge garden but over time I figured out what grew well and what my family ate. I was blessed to have an awesome Farmers Market that was open on Wednesday and Saturday, to supply me with incredible local food.
When we moved I left with mint in one hand and a lilac bush in the other.
Photo by Andy Roberts/Flickr
I had my work cut out for me–we moved in May. I had a house full of boxes and we were all feeling displaced. I decided that we would put down “new roots” in a very literal way. I went to Home Depot and purchased a 4 x 4 garden bed. The kids had a great time filling it with bags of organic soil. I found a organic plant sale . . . it was a start.
I soon realized that it would not be enough to feed 6. My goal is to feel my family with the best local produce available. I went to the farmers markets in the nearby towns and bought plants to grow and produce to eat–but it seemed very hit and miss.
Although I love going to markets, my days of strolling through the farmers market picking out the best, biggest, veggies and fruit, are over. I realized that I want great produce–delivered to my house!
The next week I found a CSA (community supported agriculture) that would deliver to my house! Tomato Mountain. I had tons of questions for them! Robin stayed on the phone with me for about an hour (on this call, one of many :-)) explaining to me all the details that I craved.
I was hooked and my check was in the mail, I had produce on my porch the following week! I encourage you to check out the website–they have details of what is in the box (after a while all the green starts to look the same!), informative FAQ’s, and recipes!
Is a CSA for you?
- Do you seek local produce?
- Do you want to know the farmer growing your food?
- Do you desire a community of foodies?
- Is trying new foods appealing? (like garlic scapes)
- Is it important to you to support your local economy?
- Do you want to “work” on the farm? (some CSA’s allow volunteers)
- How much interaction do you want with the farm? I love that I can call and ask questions, request more of an item if I want to do some canning, and they also have a website and FB page!
- How much will a CSA cost vs. a farmers market or the store? (My CSA has a seasonal schedule that lets me know what my share will be each week–that makes meal planning a breeze.)
- If you have more than one CSA near you–what is the difference in cost and why?
- Does the CSA have other products? eggs, meat, honey, other local foods?
- How much produce will I get? TMF has different sized shares so you can really streamline the amount of produce AND they let you change the size of your share–so if I have a season that isn’t my favorite or I know I’ll be traveling a lot I will take a smaller sized share during that time.
- How do you want to receive your CSA share? I love that it is delivered to my front porch! I have a CSA that is closer to me but the hours are not very convenient for me to pick up my produce. BUT that CSA has a “meat” share . . . I’m rethinking that–pick up for meat is once a month–that I think I can do.
- Will my kids eat it? I explained to my kids that we part “owners” of the farm. They love that idea! They unload the box, help prepare the food, look up recipes and look forward to the sweet spinach! They LOVE kale chips! Do they eat it all–no! But I model healthy eating habits and hope for the best.
My goal is to feed my family the best local produce possible. I know I’ve said this before but I often need to remind myself of WHY I’m making an effort. It would be so much easier to just shop at the grocery store or go to the farmers market and “hope for the best” with meal planning. When I remind myself of the “why” it makes the “doing” so much easier.
Do you have a “food” goal? Are you trying to eat healthier, create less waste, go organic? Check out Local Harvest for tons of information on CSA’s, farmer’s markets, and local food for your area!
I wish you the best in finding what works for your family! (one last note–our garden is now 4 (4×4) garden beds and this year we are planting our strawberry beds. A little bit each year.
Are you a part of a CSA, or have you considered it?
Renee is a wife, mom of 4, writer, speaker, creative artist, joy-seeker, a student of life and a teacher of universal lessons. She writes about it all at Joyful Mom–in everything give thanks.
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