Since I’m just starting to manage this whole garden thing, I knew I wouldn’t be able to grow enough fresh veggies (quantity & variety) to keep us in business all summer. My friend Po suggested that we join our local CSA and take advantage of locally grown produce delivered right to our door. I’m so glad I listened to her!
Every week we get a bin of fresh picked fruits and vegetables delivered to a predetermined drop-off point (in our case, Po’s house). It’s filled with a variety of whatever is in season that particular week. Here is my delivery bin this week (squash, cucs, patty pan, chard, beans, peaches, & a dill plant):
In addition to our delivery, we can go out to the farm and pick up and/or pick additional items (it changes weekly) for free! Included in our membership! So far this summer, I’ve personally picked sour cherries, blueberries, peas, and green beans. I’ve picked up (harvested by farm personnel) lettuce, peas, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, beets, plums, apricots, and some other stuff I’m sure I’m forgetting. It’s like a whole additional bin each week! All you have to do is pick it up yourself. What a deal!
Today, Po and I drove out to the farm and spent a very hot morning picking blueberries and green beans. Look at all those beans!
Membership is around $500 (depending on whether you get a delivery – and if it’s a single or group – or pick it up yourself) for a 5 month harvest period, June to October. If you think about it, $100 a month for that much produce THAT YOU KNOW WHERE and HOW IT WAS GROWN is a great deal. I mean, one cucumber at my local chain grocery store costs more than a dollar. A pint of Roma tomatoes is $3.50! Heck, fruit alone could cost me $100 a month the way my kids go through it.
Anything I can’t or won’t use immediately, I freeze or can or give to friends or family. So guess what I’m doing this weekend? Freezing green beans, of course. Last month I made homemade strawberry jam – my first foray into the world of canning – and it was awesome! I loved hearing the *snap* of the lids sealing in place.
I also have a quart of frozen blueberries, and two quarts of frozen sour cherries that I got from the CSA farm. In the winter, when I’m ready to bake, I’ll have fresh, local fruit to use. That makes me happy.
Anyway, if you have a CSA near you, I highly recommend checking them out!