So, after a good amount of time spent researching exactly HOW I can purchase FRESH (Kinda a bummer seeing that the date stamp on my apples from the store is from a month ago...) produce that's organic (or at least pesticide free), without spending our entire grocery budget at Whole Foods and the like.... I have found an amazing thing... CSA!
"WHAT is a CSA?", you ask. Well... "CSA" stands for "community supported (or shared, if you ask some peeps) agriculture. So, you buy a "share" from a local farm, paying for the entire growing season (equal to a certain amount of weeks, ours is 19 weeks). Then, every week you get a box of freshly picked produce from YOUR farm! So stinking cool, huh?!
Some farms require payment in full, some will allow payments. We bought our share from Winter Green Farm and chose the monthly payment option. I'm just taking it right out I the grocery budget. I did the math (I HAVE to see those numbers!), and we will be spending LESS!
Since the first pick up date for the Winter Green CSA isn't until the second week of June, I bought a weekly CSA share from Agricultural Connections this week. Baby G was sooo excited that she couldn't help herself! She grabbed a crimini mushroom and devoured it, saying "mmmm" while she chewed.
So, sounds good, huh? YOU can enjoy the same benefits by buying a share from a farm near you! Check out www.localharvest.org on the right side of the homepage, click CSA, then put in your zip code and pick from a list of farms offering CSA near you!
Buy local, friends! Make a difference, see the difference, TASTE the difference! Word.
**Update! So, people have asked me why I chose Winter Green Farm for our CSA... well, first of all, I thought that their location was ideal for growing all of the produce I would LOVE to receive. Second, I could not afford a lump sum payment, and they accept monthly payments. Third, I have a few friends that were involved with a CSA from Winter Green and they had all good things to say!
Winter Green Farm provides CSA shares to Eugene/Springfield, Portland, Bend, Coast, and Fern Ridge areas, with shares starting at $450 for the entire season (less than $24 a week!). They accept payments (upon approval) and also are authorized to accept SNAP. If you decide to buy a share, you can do me a favor and put my name in the "How did you find out about Winter Green Farm?" box. They give $25 credit for referrals :)!