Plan CSA & farmer’s market now

June is exciting in these parts. It’s time for the farmer’s markets, CSAs and the like to swing into action.

Last year, we only went to one farmer’s market and I was not impressed. In the spring the tables were full … of goods brought in from other, warmer states. I wanted local produce, and there was hardly anything. (It was mid to late June, and I know our garden already is or could be producing lettuces, spinach, radishes, carrots, peas, onions … so why not the pros?) Our grocer stocks a lot of local produce, so I gave up easily.

This year, I’m going to make more of an effort. If you would like to find a local farmers market in your area, you can check Local Harvest. Better yet, search for “farmers market” and the name of your state or city. Many states have a farmers market association with listings of local markets.

And, exciting for me — I found a local (within 100 miles) organic CSA to join. We purchased a half-share, which was still available last week. We’ll get about a big sack of produce every week through December.

Bulk/advance buying changes your whole grocery-budget mindset: This spring I will have forked out over $800 for food I can’t eat right away (our local beef and the CSA). But if I divvy those bills out over the course of now through December, it comes to about $23 per week for our produce and meat — not too bad at all. We will of course be supplementing with our home-grown produce. The CSA farm mentioned that it anticipates having extras available — like roasted green chiles and tomatoes — for members to put up for the winter. Our first pickup is next Thursday – I can’t wait to see what we get.

Have you signed up for a CSA? Are you a farmers market regular?

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3 thoughts on “Plan CSA & farmer’s market now

  1. JAM says:

    This is our first year of doing a summer CSA – last year I did fall and winter (since summer had already sold out). This year I’m doing them all, plus an extra preservation share for food to put up for later. I like it since you pay up front and then don’t have to worry about how much the veggies cost each week, and since we get things we wouldn’t have bought otherwise, we broaden our horizons. Being a Yankee I can’t waste anything, so we eat it all and generally like it. My kids eat more veggies this way, both since there are more veggies in the house, and since they know the farmer who grew it. That makes them a lot more likely to try it and want to like it. Finding grass fed meat is a lot harder for me – we have a great farmer’s market but they don’t have much meat there. I think I’m going to have to drive further afield and once I find a place with good meat I should stock up.

  2. erin says:

    We did a CSA for about 4 years but since we had kids, we haven’t had the time to devote to cooking. I am hoping we will buy a share again next year when the kids are a little more self sufficient. We do have a nice garden going – all I have to remember to do is harvest it!

  3. Deb Coyle says:

    We were members of a CSA for a few years, but opted out in favor of our local farmers’ market. Being the control freak that I am, I prefer picking out my own produce and deciding what I’m going to eat for the week. If we didn’t have the option of a farmers’ market, I would have stayed with the CSA. It’s definitely worth it. This year, in addition to the farmers’ market produce, I have started my own garden. Depending on how productive it is, I may be able to spend less on veggies this year and burn a few calories at the same time. Win-win!

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