DH recently asked, “How much did you pay for that CSA again?”
He replied, “Yeah, totally not worth it,” in his tone that declares his opinion as indisputable fact. <rolleyes.>
The value of CSA membership is about more than a price comparison of the fruits, veggies, & herbs at the grocery store. There is just so much more to it than that.
1. I like supporting a local business.
Truth be told, the farmers sent an email saying their CSA was sold out a few months before the season even started. So they’re not hurting for business. If I hadn’t bought a share, they’d probably have been able to sell it to someone else. Still though, it’s nice supporting this local couple in their organic, sustainable farming efforts. It’s different from just shopping at the grocery store.
2. It forces me to eat veggies I wouldn’t otherwise.
Even if I sometimes don’t enjoy it.
3. It alleviates some of the burden of choice.
I’m sure you’ve been to a grocery store before… you know how much stuff they sell. Sometimes it’s hard picking something! But I don’t have to worry about that when my weekly veggies are selected for me. Instead my choice is what to do with them. It’s a nice change of pace.
4. The veggies are organic.
As I wrote about in a recent benefits of paleo article, they are also possibly healthier based on the way they are grown. Sure, I could get organic in my grocery store, but not always, and it’s more expensive, so I often don’t opt for it.
5. They taste great.
The salad greens taste way better than anything I’ve ever bought in any grocery store. The $700 doesn’t include my eggs, but the farm-fresh eggs are also WAY better than even the ‘cage-free’ at the grocery store. Way better. Seriously.
6. “U-pick” is kind of fun.
I loathe gardening, but walking in the fields and picking the handful of crops that are “U-pick,” such as green beans, peas, strawberries, and cherry tomatoes, is actually fun. Quite a few of those crops have also been unlimited quantity! So the more time I spent in the field, the more I got.
7. Just the right amount of herbs
It’s a pet peeve of mine to have to buy a big bunch of herbs, only to use one-third and have the rest rot in my fridge. When using fresh herbs, I make an effort to plan multiple recipes, so I use up all that I’m forced to buy, but I don’t always succeed. Well, in my CSA, most herbs are “U-pick.” Literally, bring your own shears, walk out to the shrub, and snip off the quantity of chives you’ll use that week. Other herbs were harvested for us, and occasionally bundled, but other weeks we could choose a “handful” of cilantro, parsley, or basil from the bin.
It feels frivolous & wasteful to me to buy flowers. I mean, you KNOW they’re going to die relatively soon! But U-pick flowers are included in my CSA membership, so walking to the flower section to snip a vase-full is great.
9. Forces me to eat veggies I wouldn’t otherwise.
Yes, this was reason #2, but it is such a great benefit, and I was going for a “Top 10,” so it’s worth repeating. #3, alleviating the burden of choice, also bears repeating. They are my favorite benefits.
10. It forces me to eat veggies, period!
Some weeks when I’ve been off the wagon, I normally wouldn’t have eaten any veggies at all! But with the money and time that went into my CSA membership, there is no way I would have let them rot in the fridge!
Sorry honey, I’m joining again next year! A neighbor of mine was a member a few years back, but said she got sick of driving up there every week, even though it’s not too far (10-12 min one way.) Hehe…I plan to propose to her that she join again & we can take turns picking up for one another to spread the burden.