Tuesday, April 30, 2013

First CSA

I am unreasonably excited to join my first CSA! I was researching available options this morning for the Upper East Side (my new neighborhood!), but was a little discouraged at the high prices (at least the UES is consistent with their image?).
A typical CSA box (via)
But before I go into too much detail, what's a CSA?!

CSA allows city residents to have direct access to high quality, fresh produce grown locally by regional farmers.
When you become a member of a CSA, you’re purchasing a “share” of vegetables from a regional farmer. Weekly or bi-weekly, from June until October or November, your farmer will deliver that share of produce to a convenient drop-off location in your neighborhood. (via)

Unlike weekly shopping at a farmer's market, you pay one time at the beginning of the summer- it works out to a few dollars a week, but the upfront cost can be a bit of a shocker. The ones in the Upper East Side were in the $400-$500 range for the summer, which was just a bit too much to handle. Plus, there were no 1/2 share options- a full share is designed to feed a family of 4-5, so there would be too much waste for just an apartment of 2 people. 

But as luck would have it, I got an email today saying that my office participates in a CSA- with 1/2 share options! I'll be able to pick up my goods every week at the office coffee bar (yeah, that's a great perk- an in house barista!) and even better, for a fraction of the price I was finding for the Upper East Side CSAs!

We decided to do a 1/2 share of fruit and juice to see how it goes-I was gung-ho for the adventure of discovering 'new' vegetables and the challenge of creating new recipes, but my housemate is a little picky when it comes to vegetables. So we decided to play it safe and see how the fruit worked out, and if we liked it, we'd try vegetables in the fall. There are some other exciting choices as well- bread, meat, cheese, and honey were all additional options. I think the meat and cheese would be really great, but they were a little on the pricey side-- especially during the summer, when it's harder to plan when you'll be home to take advantage of the yumminess!

I can't wait for my first box... I wonder what will be in it! Currently dreaming of peaches! If you're looking to join a CSA, the one I signed up for through work (Local Roots) also offers pickups around Brooklyn. If you don't live in Brooklyn, visit JustFood and enter your zipcode to see your options! Happy eating :)

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