Sunday, January 17, 2010

Pros & Cons of a CSA

My first box from the CSA

How was your first I Am Crossfit week? Are you tired, sore, and happy?!

Since you've probably increased your vegetable intake exponentially, you may wonder how you are going to A) eat so much veggies and B) not get sick of eating the same things over and over.

I had done some research on CSAs and found quite a few in Austin. First of all, what is a CSA?

"Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a direct partnership between the consumer and the farmer. The CSA member buys a share of the farm at the beginning of a growing season. In exchange, we work to grow the highest quality vegetables, herbs, and fruits we can. Every week, the produce is picked and immediately delivered to local drop off sites, where members pick up their shares. This arrangement is ecologically sound because it reduces the long-distance trucking involved in much of today's produce delivery. In addition, all the produce is organically grown. This method of growing food is healthier and more environmentally sustainable for the consumer, agricultural worker, and the land itself."

That really appeals to our family. We, like most Austinites, buy local and support the local economy as much as possible. So when I got the email from Johnson's saying there was a space for us, I was really excited. All I have to do is go pick up a box of veggies and I'm set for the week!!

The way it works is that you pay up front for your goods. So I payed for 4 weeks' worth of produce up front at about $120 (I think).

When I picked up my first box, I was a little disappointed.

This will only last us like 2 days!!!!! HUGE SIGH....

Let me be perfectly clear. The veggies were gorgeous. The veggies were delicious. There were things in there I had no idea what to do with but ate anyway.

But..... because we are a family of 4 and because both my husband and I eat our bodyweight in veggies, it just didn't justify the money :( :( :( :(

So If you are single or have only one other person in your household, definitely try a CSA for some unbelievably fresh produce and as a way to support your local economy. There are tons of farms around the ATX and Hill Country. And of course, visit the Farmer's Markets around town.

Next, I think we'll try a produce delivery service like Greenling. I know you can choose from several size boxes and they get all their produce and meat from local farms as well.

Any thoughts? Any tips? Please post to comments! And have a wonderful week!

A belated Happy Birthday to Showout Meg!


  1. CSA's are very seasonal. even in austin, TX this is a slow time for production unless they've got substantial greenhouses---especially with the cold snap. In august and september, you'll probably be overwhelmed w/ veg. csa's are also as varied as the farms that do them. maybe another farm's csa will be a better fit.

    I used to run a csa. biggest complaint? Too much food!

  2. Interesting! Thanks for the info Amy. As Spring approaches hopefully we will have a much bigger home garden this year as well.