Author Topic: Your CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Membership feedback appreciated.  (Read 2363 times)

Offline NPR Rich

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On 2/5/10 Episode 372, Jack spoke about CSAs and had a link for LocalHarvest.com to find them in your area. Today we bought our first full membership ($500/20wks./$25 of produce/wk.) from Hudson Farms, about 25 miles from where we live in Tuscaloosa, in West Alabama. Watching Food, Inc. was enough to get us to shift away from chain grocery store produce, frozen foods and chickens to food grown without pesticides or fungicides and free range chickens. They will even can for us at a nominal charge, what a deal! We still plan on buying an Excalibur dehydrator for longer shelf life storage too. We would appreciate feedback as to your experiences using CSAs. Thanks to all!

Offline spartan

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My wife and I recently resubscribed to our local CSA after a 2 year hiatus.  They offer early-bird pricing that provides a large box of fruits and veggies, enough to provide for a family for 4 for 1 week, for under $20/week, and runs for +/-26 weeks.  Once that offer expires it is around $25/wk.   

Boxes are dropped off for pick up at regional locations once per week, on a specific day.  You get to choose where you want to pick up at.  We have never had a problem with someone taking our box or the delivery being late or on a different day.  There is a schedule of what is available when and it is generally accurate.  The large box also includes surprise items that are not listed, which are not put in any of the smaller shares.  I'm interested to see what those are as it is the first year getting a large share.

The produce is excellent and we've never had a complaint about the quality.  The only issue we had was that you get a lot of leafy greens, something that was not a major part of our diet before.  A good bit of that got composted.  Since then recipes have been adapted to better use what we receive. 

They also offer pick your own days at the farm where you can collect items that were grown in too small of a quantity to be included with the share.  Peppers are a given, but berries have also been offered.  A postcard arrives announcing what weekends they are doing this.

Overall we expect that this, and our new milkman (yes, home delivery of milk still exists), will cut $20 off of our grocery bill as long as we adapt to eating/preserving everything that is provided.

Offline zackandjen2004

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I've participated in two different CSA's over the years, but not when I was very food-storage minded.  If you are disciplined about PROCESSING all the goods that come in that box within 3 days of pickup, the food will be a true value.  But it's SO easy to waste. 

Offline CopperKnight

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I am currently on the waiting list. <sigh>

 I had been keeping an eye open for them for a couple years, but the article I read about them called them Co-op farms instead of CSAs, so when I finally heard the podcast early this summer it wasn't too hard to find one in the area using the right term. 

Offline zackandjen2004

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No CSA farms where I currently live in rural Appalachia. We do have one local-producers-only Farmer's Market; Zack and I sell our honey there.  Most of the flea market and fruit stand sellers make a weekly buying trip to Atlanta or Asheville and sell retail.  And many, many people garden to some degree.  Some just put a garden in and get a few things before the weeds take over.  Others maintain theirs and get a nice harvest.