Something very exciting happened at our house this week. We picked up our first share of local, fresh, organic produce from our CSA for the season.
CSA stands for 'Community Supported Agriculture and it is a commitment between local farmer/s and community members who pay the farmer for a seasonal membership. Each week the member receives a pre-purchased and pre-determined amount of produce and the farmer receives upfront money to run their operation. Some CSAs might require the members to volunteer hours on the farm in return for the produce.
This is our ninth year as a member of a CSA and it has proven to be the most cost-effective way for us to afford organic produce. During the May-November harvest season, we receive a weekly share of produce. We supplement with produce we grow ourselves and I rarely need to buy produce at the grocery store during those months.
This year's price for our half-share comes to about $14.21 a week in organic produce. Obviously, prices will differ by farm. The above photo is the share that we received this week and it included baby lettuce mix. broccoli, spinach, new red potatoes, spring onions and carrots. The share at the beginning of the season is always lighter than what we will receive as the harvest season goes into full swing.
Our CSA also offers ‘OPEN Farm Days’ one Saturday each month from June through October. On these days, members can pick up any free extra produce that the farm has an overrun on. They also offer some extra produce at an extremely reduced rate. Last year I bought several 19 pound boxes of organic Roma tomatoes for $6 each. Again, each CSA will operate differently.
Every year, I consider quitting our CSA. I have dreams and delusions that I am going to expand our garden. But I have limited space and the variety of produce and herbs that I receive each week from the CSA is much larger than I have room to grow myself. So every year we sign up again and I never regret it.
How important is eating organic food to you? What is the number one way that you save money on organic food?
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This post is linked to Frugal Friday at Life as MOM.