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CSA Adventures: Why Should You Join?
Food

CSA Adventures: Why Should You Join?

example of a CSA share My CSA has officially started… and it has made me one happy woman.

I picked up my friend’s CSA share last summer and loved the experience. Yet after making my weekly trek to the farmer’s market, I decided to bite the bullet and officially enroll for a share.

After researching many local CSAs in Philadelphia (Or Community Shared (or Supported) Agriculture), I joined Red Earth Farm , where you can select what you receive in your next batch of farm-fresh deliciousness. The first batch (which was farmer’s choice) included green onions, Bibb lettuce, spinach, sweet salad turnips, Swiss Chard, a Mini Basil plant, Romaine lettuce (caesar salad this week!), green leaf lettuce and kale. I’m not slacking on my greens intake!

So besides drooling with jealousy, why should you consider enrolling in a CSA?

  • You’ll support local farmers. As you can tell from my posts, I’m loving the locavore movement. Instead of supporting chain grocery stores and importing fruits/veggies from the US (and countries beyond), you’ll keep the local economy going.
  • Food is SO much fresher. Since you’re getting food delivered once per week from the farm, they’re giving you what’s ripe NOW vs. what will be profitable (in a grocery store). You’re enjoying an explosion of flavor at its peak, guaranteed.
  • Force yourself to try new things.  How many times do you check out a recipe and try subbing an ingredient for something that’s in your fridge (or more familiar at the grocery store?) Instead, CSAs give you a boatload of fresh veggies and challenge you to cook with them before receiving your next batch.
  • It saves you a trip to the Farmer’s Market. Although I still encourage you to visit the Farmers Market to get fresh foods, you won’t be dependent on a weekly trip. Plus, you won’t have to worry about getting to the market first for the best selection.
  • You’ll force yourself to eat healthy. Joining a CSA from 16-24 weeks gets you in the habit of using a batch of fresh fruits and veggies within 7 days (before the next batch).  My lunches are full of creative salads and fruits/etc to eat throughout the day.
  • Save some dough. You won’t want to waste your precious produce and therefore can cut back on eating out (and buying fast snacks of crap to fill up on). Get creative and make kale chips or some veggie dips.
  • On the fence about going vegetarian? Eating a vegetarian diet will help you keep your weight down, increase your energy & live longer… and a CSA will help you see how easy it really is!
  • Not just veggies. Depending on the CSA, there’s fruit, egg, cheese & meat shares available in addition to the traditional veggie route.

Although Summer CSAs are most popular, there’s CSAs around the year: Check Farm to City‘s list.

Readers, did you join a Philadelphia CSA? What are you enjoying (or why are you joining next enrollment?)

csa spring share

 

Photos: Farm to Philly, GPB

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Julie Hancher
Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

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