My Top 10 Reasons to Join a Co-Op (CSA)

//My Top 10 Reasons to Join a Co-Op (CSA)

Last night we picked up our produce from our CSA (Community Shared Agriculture).  Lest you think I’ve done this for years and am a pro at this CSA thing, I’ll openly admit this is my first year to try it. Two dear friends, Tara Dulin and Andrea Millard, talked me into it.  To be honest, at first I was completely overwhelmed at the thought of driving to get my produce and having to wash it all (yes, there are bugs and dirt!! It comes straight off the farm and is pesticide free!  I did not know if we were in the “season” of life to handle this extra task.

But my fears have all been calmed!  I have LOVED being a part of the CSA so far and would encourage you to try one near you.  Even split a share if you do not eat that many vegetables!

I was so excited!  We got quite a variety this time. We have been getting a lot of lettuce so it was fun to get such a huge variety.

On the list this week:

  • Blueberries
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Beets
  • Tomatoes
  • Cabbage

Top 10 Reasons To Join a CSA:

1. Up Your Intake of Vegetables: We eat more vegetables than ever because we have them on hand.  Honestly, I have never eaten a beet in my life (shocking, I know!).  But I have two of them this week in my basket so I’m going to figure out what to do with them (let me know if you have any ideas!).

2. Variety is the Spice of Life: We are learning to eat veggies that I might not have been inclined to grab at the supermarket.  Joining the CSA is forcing me to branch out, try new things, and eat what we get!

3.  My Kids Are Eating More Veggies: This is a big deal for us moms!  We all want healthy kids but it’s easier said than done sometimes. My kids are learning to eat veggies that they have never tried or liked before (my fault for not introducing them to them till now! Oops!).  They are finding a lot of satisfaction in seeing where their food came from.  As a result, they are more open to try new things.

4.  Eating Seasonally: Eating “seasonally” is really good for your body for many reasons.  Typically we all get in a mode where we grab the same thing at the grocery store week after week–common produce like apples, grapes, strawberries, carrots, corn, etc.   But because individual fruits and veggies are not in season all throughout the year, this means you are eating food that is typically grown with chemicals (because that how they get it to grow when it’s not in season!).

5.  Increased Nutrient Value: Because the food is in season, the nutrient density is higher.

6. Reduced pesticide load: Eating organic will reduce your pesticide load tremendously.  However, this is not always easy on the budget.  Joining a CSA can drastically cut the Organic food bill!

7. Supporting a Local Business: We love supporting our local farmer from Eco Gardens. Ideally you want to pick a farm that is within 75-100 miles of your home. Ours is 65 miles away.

8.  Reconnect with Food: As silly as this might sound, this has happened personally for our family. We are growing up in a society that is very disconnected from their food.  The majority of what the typical American consumes on a daily basis is pre-package, ready-made, frozen, or processed.  We have reconnected with real food by seeing it in it’s REAL form!

9.  Know Where Your Food Comes From: Being able to visit and tour the farm where you get your produce eliminates guess-work from the equation.  I can see the exact farming methods that are used and the environment my food is grown in. I don’t have to “hope” my food is ok.  I know it is.

10.  Get Extras for freezing, canning, dehydrating, or storing: Many weeks we have had too much of one thing to eat.  For example more strawberries than we could consume in one week so we froze them and use them later in our protein shakes.  The same thing happened with Kale one week. I froze the extra and we’ve put in in our Chocolate shakes. Even the kids like theses shakes!  I love having extras in the freezer for stir-fry, shakes, breads (when the pumpkin comes!), or side dishes.

I’m going to do a post next week on the exact savings by being a part of a CSA so stay tuned!

These are my Top 10 Reasons for Joining, but what are yours?  Or if you haven’t joined a CSA yet, tell us your questions or concerns.

On a side note, I just had to post a picture of how HUGE our Zuchinni was this week!  I could never get one this huge in the store (or if it was I’d be really afraid it had been injected with steroids)! Haha!

4 Comments

  • We’ve joined a CSA this year too (encouraged by Tara as well:)). I’ve been quite adventurous with making GREEN smoothies with all the greens we’ve had. I can’t tell what they all are but have been adding them to our newly discovered smoothies. Even my kids LOVE them! As for beets, no one here will touch ’em but me – I just washed them and boiled them (like a potato) and added them to salad – for some reason I LOVE them with hard boiled eggs in my salad. Everything turns pinkish purple but I thoroughly enjoy it. I’ll have to give that drink a whirl for my fam. Thanks!

    Melinda McCormick 27.06.2010
    • Melinda, thanks for the comment! Those are great idea! I’m going to try the beet with the egg/salad. I haven’t done it that way yet. I still have one left from last Tues. I wonder how many we will get tonight? 🙂 And yes, I never knew what was going in my shake either…but as long as you don’t taste it too much, I didn’t care! It’s amazing how much my tastes have actually changed this year. Will you do the CSA again next year?

  • How do you find a CSA in your area? Do you just search the internet or is there a site you go to???? I would love to be a part of one.

    Becky 11.01.2011
    • Hey girl! IF you google CSA with your city/state there should be a link you can click. I will try and track down a website for you. I know there is one main one that has every state on it.

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