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Getting a CSA isn't like pulling your ACL

Written By Culinary Pen on Sunday, February 15, 2009 | 2:18:00 PM

Today Carla and I joined a CSA. Community Supported Agriculture is more commonly known as buying a farm share. You pay a set amount ahead of time, which allows the farmers to buy seeds and other necessities, rather than taking out bank loans that they'll have to wait until harvest time to pay off. Carla and I bought a 25 week share for $575, although they only require a $100 deposit to secure your spot. That comes to $23 a week for two, from May to November.

We went for a full share, which they describe as getting enough vegetables to feed two vegetable-loving adults or a small family. Some farms will offer half-shares, others add in weekly egg-shares for a dozen farm-fresh eggs a week, flower shares, or "salad shares," which are just lettuces and veggies you can eat raw (carrots, radishes, scallions, etc). We chose Village Acres Farm, as it seemed to be the best service and products for the cost. Plus they also offer fruit, and Carla loves fruit about as much as I love pork.

This farm says the normal pick-up will be 12 lbs of produce in late spring and early fall, and 14 lbs during summer. There's also the option to sign up for the smaller winter share, which is mostly root vegetables. Joining a CSA is something we've wanted to do for a while, but we only started researching it last summer, when most of them were half-over. Along with getting farm-fresh produce each week at $11.50 a person, I'm excited in a way that I don't have total control over what we get. That will make it a challenge to use what we get in new ways and try vegetables I'm not familiar with (looking at you, kolhrabi!).

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