Don’t worry! In addition to the great tips and recipes you’ll get from your fellow CSA members, NPR put out a great list of cookbooks highlighting easy to prepare and delicious recipes focused around eating locally. Check it out here.
Our good friend Cathy Erway wrote a great piece on the Central Brooklyn CSA… There is still time to sign up, but hurry! Shares are moving fast!
On the average CSA’s cost less than buying the same foods in “traditional” stores. In fact, when you do the math, most CSA’s cost a lot less. I would not say I am cheap (my girlfriend, however, would), but I do hate to overpay for things. The cost value in most CSA’s is probably the reason I signed on in the first place, and for me, the savings are real. What’s more, paying for four months of produce all at once helps me budget what I spend on groceries better (sweet!) and helps me eat better, too (more on this in a later post!).
There is a risk in CSA’s – since the food is pre-purchased, local weather conditions can affect the harvest. However, CSA’s use professional farmers, who are up to the challenges that weather provides and rarely if ever are CSA members left holding the (empty) bag. (The proof is in the pudding on this one, most CSA’s bring back the vast majority of their members year-to-year.)
Because CSA’s pair communities directly with farmers and use cooperative labor, they often represent the greatest value in purchasing locally grown, sustainable produce around. But don’t just take my word for it, sign-up and see for yourself!
Why did I first join a CSA? My girlfriend made me. Ok, she did not so much force me, as much as she led me to believe that if we did not join, my life would be considerably less pleasant for the foreseeable future. As they say, “Mama didn’t raise no fool,” and shortly thereafter I found myself a member of my first CSA.
There were a lot of reasons I was hesitant to join, but the biggest one was simple: CSA’s are different than the traditional supermarkets I was used to. In most CSA’s, you pay for your share (typically one to two seasons worth of food) all at once, before the season begins. The food is seasonal – meaning you get what naturally comes out of the ground at that time of the year, and since my CSA, like most, partnered with a local farmer, that meant no tomatoes in June. Since I have an unnatural love of tomatoes, this was awful news. The food looks like it has just been harvested – it has – which means there may be a little more dirt on fruits and vegetables than we are accustomed to. And of course there is a volunteer requirement (you mean I have to pay AND work for my food?!).
If CSA’s are so so different than traditional supermarkets and bodegas, why I am so excited to be a part of a CSA now? The first five reasons that come to mind are 1) it is affordable; 2) the food is delicious; 3) I get to “do something” in my community; 4) I feel like I am making a difference; and 5) it is different than a traditional supermarket.
We thought it would be cool if we made a “Why I joined my CSA, a regular series of posts that anyone can contribute to, so that is exactly what we are doing! Over the next few days, I will post more about my reasons for joining, but we would really love if you took the ball and ran with it – so feel free to comment or write your own post too!
Eat Well, Until We Meet Again,
Just a reminder that you CAN mail in your vegetable & fruit and/or eggmembership agreements and payments (Please note, you MUST secure your vegetable share BEFORE you may secure a fruit or egg share). It is not necessary for you to come to a sign-up event to secure your spot!
You may mail your forms to:
New York City Coalition Against Hunger
50 Broad Street, Suite 1520
New York, NY 10004
Please make checks payable to “NYCCAH”.
We are excited to announce that our membership forms for fruit and egg shares are now available! Just submit your form and payment, and enjoy!
Unfortunately, we do not have adequate funding to subsidize fruit and egg shares. If you are interested and able to sponsor either share for a fellow member, please contact Maia Raposo at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 212.825.0028 ext 205.