One of my favorite things about summer is walking down to the Farmer’s Market with my little family. I have always loved going to the market, looking around, chatting with vendors, and bringing home farm fresh food! Our typical shopping list includes greens, eggs (for J), and something seasonal. Most of the time we buy a lot more than that, but those are the staples in our kitchen. Not only do we support local farms, but you know exactly where your food is coming from, and you know it’s fresh. Like, just cut fresh. Even if we buy organic produce at super markets, or even certain health food stores, they are not always fresh. That’s because the organic, “fresh” greens I’m purchasing, were grown down South, and then shipped hundreds of miles to me. Yes, they are organic, but the shelf life is nothing compared to that at the Farmer’s Market. Our food is in its prime until its gone, and we never have anything questionable.
This year, we decided to sign up for a CSA (community supported agriculture) with one of our local farms, 9 Bean Rows. They have a greenhouse, so their CSA started earlier than others I had been looking into, and I was ready to start eating my farm fresh greens again! They have several different options to choose from: an egg share, bread share, veggie share, or the cream of the crop, which gets you everything.
Each option is seasonal, and we signed up for the 12 week Spring Share of Cream of the Crop. This weekend will be week seven, so I thought I’d share some pros and cons.
If you live in Michigan, Taste the Local Difference is an awesome magazine and resource, I highly recommend looking into CSAs on their website, or even just local farm and food options.
Fresh + Organic: Greens are a staple in our house, but it’s so tough to find them in the winter (the good ones, that is). You know everything is seasonally fresh, and grown locally.
Supporting a Local Farm + Business: Keeping it real, keeping it local. Buying a CSA not only benefits you, but it directly supports your local economy.
Amazing Bread: If you read my vegan banana bread post, I mentioned how much Jeremiah is obsessed with bread. Is obsessed the right word? With the share, we have received so many different kinds of bread that we may have not tried. The sea salt and fennel is my personal favorite!
Ability to Adjust: I don’t eat eggs, but J loves having them in the house. Even outside of our CSA, we only buy the ones at the farm market. Included in our CSA is a dozen eggs each week, and it’s a lot for him to keep up on. If we give the farm a heads up, we have the option of replacing the eggs with something else. So you have the power to adjust things if needed.
Budget Conscious + Convenient: It’s really affordable! Everyone always associates fresh and organic food with a steeper price tag, but I’ve found that the CSA (and farm market in general) are very friendly on your budget. Plus, our CSA has three pick up locations, or the option of delivery, so it’s easy to fit into your normal routine.
Packaging: There is more packaging then going to the market and picking out what you want.
Onions: It is seasonal food, so sometimes there are more onions than we can keep up with!