Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What Can I Expect From a CSA?

This was the question I was asking early this spring.  I had been hearing so much about fresh produce that you can purchase directly from local farms but wasn't really sure what I would be getting for my money.  After several days of research, I chose a vegan organic farm in upstate New York (less than one hour away) that had a pick up location in my area of New Jersey.  A lot of people have asked me what I get on a typical week so I thought I would share this week's "haul" and information about my particular CSA.

What do you get?  This week we received two heads of lettuce (romaine & red curly), three nice sized zucchini, a large summer squash, a dozen potatoes, one head of cabbage, curly parsley, flat leaf parsley, basil, a huge cucumber, 10 baby beets, seven radishes, a big shallot, a giant bunch of broccoli raab and a small head of broccoli.  Previous weeks have included garlic, green onions, cauliflower, carrots (the best I've ever had), etc.  In future weeks were are expecting more squash, tomatoes, tomatillos, and larger broccoli, amongst other things.

What does it cost?  I pay $25 per week on a monthly basis.  This particular farm runs from May to October.  For the three large bags of veggies I picked up today, I would've spent way more than $25 at Whole Foods or ShopRite.  I do give away some of my items and I have had to throw some out in the early weeks because I didn't use them fast enough, but I still feel this is a very good deal.  Now that I am getting better at planning meals and pre-preparing some of the items (i.e. steaming, sauteing, freezing), I end up with very little waste.

Here are some pictures of the greeny goodness from this week.  Please excuse my kitchen - it is original to this house that was built in the 1950's (appliances excluded). Someday I will replace that faux marble counter top and backsplash...someday! :)

Oh, I should mention that since the items are harvested the morning of pick up, they do require a good washing before use.  Check out my dirty potatoes (my kids' absolute favorites)!  They also aren't as "pretty" as the produce displays at the supermarket, but let's not judge a book by it's cover.

My pick up location also offers various local items for sale on pick up day as well like honey, butter, maple syrup, free range eggs, fruits and bakery items.  Today I opted to pick up some NJ blueberries as I want to make muffins later tonight.  I enjoy supporting my local farmers and you really can't beat the quality and taste of fresh produce.

To find farmers markets and CSAs available in your location, check out Local Harvest's website.


  1. Way to go with your food shopping! Our local farmers produce is just becoming available now and it's a wonderful thing!

  2. Hi Pam! Having some trouble with viewing comments, but thanks for visiting. Can't wait to see what you do with your farmers market finds!

  3. how can you beat farm fresh produce....we are so lucky to live in an area that still has working farms....are weekend market is just brimming with great local fruits and veggies!

  4. You can't beat it! I wish we lived closer to some of these farms, but I am so grateful that they deliver to my area (about an hour south from the farms). Now I have to find a good local market for the rest.

  5. You are so fortunate to be able to get such fresh produce every week. It doesn't get any fresher than picking it the day you get it. As for your kitchen, vintage kitchens are all the rage now! I have a friend who is always looking for old tea towels and bowls and dishes from the 50's to decorate her kitchen. Embrace it and step back in time to the Leave it to Beaver days. Maybe you could cook in pearls and high heels. Well maybe not the high heels but the pearls would look nice.

  6. LOL Linda. I'll see if I can't find on of those full Donna Reed getups for when I cook. :) I do enjoy classic kitchens, don't mind my cabinets, etc. The faux marble - well, that kinda pushes my buttons.

  7. Wow, I hadn't heard of this before, I can't wait to check out what local farms are a part of this. I so miss finding good produce (originally from the midwest, but live in the AZ desert now). Thanks for the info....AND.. thank you for visint my site!!! I'm really enjoying yours :)

  8. Thanks Jenn. I really was happy to find your site the other day. Hope you find something awesome in AZ!