When we were deciding as a family to invest in a CSA share, I was completely gung-ho, while my husband was a little more hesitant. After all, we were going to spend almost $500 on an assortment of fruits and vegetables — and we had no control over what produce we brought home!
wore down persuaded my husband to try it out for one year, as an experiment. I really didn’t know what I was in for, to be honest, but I’m so glad we took the plunge! I’d like to share my personal experiences with our CSA, based on questions I always get asked by people who contemplating a CSA share.
Isn’t it expensive?
We pay around $25 per week for a half-bushel of fruit, vegetables, herbs, and a half dozen organic eggs. Every item is harvested the same day I get it, and the whole share travels only 30 miles from farm to plate. We order a double share and split it with my dad and stepmom, which saves us about $75 per year.
Do you have to work on the farm?
Some farms require a work share as part of their CSA program. The one we use doesn’t. They (and many other farmers) encourage participants to visit the farm to learn more about where their food comes from.
But if I don’t have control over what’s in my share, what if something goes to waste because I don’t like it?
I haven’t found this to be the case in my personal experience. In the rare case that there is an item that no one in my house likes, I am lucky to have friends and neighbors with diverse palates that are always open for bartering.
Yes, there have been items that I had never heard of before in our share. I had never heard of garlic scapes, purslane, or kohlrabi before starting a CSA. But with google, pinterest, and all sorts of cooking blogs, I had no problem learning delicious ways to use this new produce. I also post recipes I come up with right here on Mindfully Frugal Mom
Don’t you get, like 500 pounds of zucchini all summer?
Some vegetables, like zucchini or tomatoes, are especially prolific. This isn’t a “problem.” It’s a fact of nature. That’s when canning, bartering, or freezing comes in. I sort of like being forced to be resourceful — that’s how I came up with a whole category of blog posts entitled, “What to Do With Zucchini.”
Locals Ask: What CSA do you use?
Our CSA share comes from Maxwell Creek Farm in Sodus. There is an option for Farm pick-up (which is less expensive), but we pick up our share at a drop location about 5 miles away. We just signed up for our third year with Maxwell Creek.
Still have questions? Make sure to read part I in my CSA series, “7 Reasons to Join a CSA.”
Do you have experience with a CSA share? I’d love to hear about it!This post may contain affiliate links, which help support this site.