CSA and to Buy Organic or Not?!

I spent a half hour this morning in the comfort of my tiny living room kickboxing with Jillian.  If I were to focus on something besides running, it would be kickboxing.  It’s challenging and fast-paced, so it keeps me interested.  That’s about alll I have for my cross day workout.  So onto funner (?) things…

I’ve always struggled with knowing what to buy organic- then b. came along and I didn’t want my SON EATING POISON OMGAHHH.  Please, let’s stop panicking first of all.  So, what’s a mom to do?

I’m a VERY impulsive person.  This is well known to those close to me.  I am always having a new “great” plan (at one point in my past, I told everyone I was moving to Oklahoma to become a waitress.  I was very, very serious.).  So when I called my mom with the idea of a CSA this is obviously how our conversation went:

Me: “Hey Ma.  Want to go in half with me for a CSA this year?  That will be $300 each.  Love you!”

Mom: “Absolutely, Jeannine!  What a great idea- your best yet!!  I love you more!  You are my favorite daughter!”

Ok, I’m lying.  She loves us both the same.  She also didn’t know what the hell a CSA was and that was lot of money to ask her to spend.  So I explained it to her in my best salesman voice:

A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a farm share in which we pay a local farmer up front and in return we get organically grown, fresh produce weekly from June to October.  We decided to try a half share this year (an every-other week pick up) at around $175 each.  We are with Farmer Erin at Mud Creek Farm in Victor. (http://www.mudcreekfarm.com/info/mission/#benefits)

The result of this impulse?  SO. Worth. Every. Penny.  For once I was right!

Our shares consist of:

Kale, swiss chard, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, onions, kohlrabi, bok choy, beets, arugala, potatoes, broccoli, eggplant, pick your own beans, all you can pick herbs, and all you can pick flowers…the list goes on.  This is a picture of my HALF from last week (Mom took the other half).  So if you do your own, you will get double this, and if you do a full share, double this EVERY WEEK!  You need more for that price, you say?  You’ll get it!

Other perks:  We get to go to the farm for pick up!  When Braxton is older he is going to love helping me pick our vegetables and visit the farm (hopefully, because he’s coming!).  She also offers volunteer opportunities all the time; kids are welcome!  I went to harvest for her last week, and it was a lot of fun.  Granted, my sister and I showed up dressed completely wrong and looked like out-of-place city slickers trying to get a tan, but it was fun nonetheless. AND she offers a few potlucks during the season, where she gives farm tours and we all bring a dish to pass and giggle and meet new people.  Finally, you are helping support your local farmers which is a gift in itself.

I know, I know.  It sounds like a lot of money.  And we couldn’t have done it without splitting with my mom. But if you can do it, find a share at a farm near you, start saving now, and put it on your to-do list for next year.  Talk to someone about sharing it with you- you won’t regret it.

Think of all the junk food we buy.  Now eliminate that and substitute with veggies.  But then add back in a little bit of chocolate because she does not grow that on the farm.  The variety we get is something I’d never buy at the store; I’ve tried so many new things (kohlrabi is DELICIOUS!).

I just wanted to do a little on the CSA because I think it’s such a good opportunity.  Another great option (second only to growing your own garden.  Someday I will…I’ll have Ash teach me:) is to go to your local farm market every week and go nuts!  Take some of the money you budgeted for Wegmans and put it towards the market instead!  It’s fresh, it’s good for you, it’s fun for kids if you have them, and it’s almost like you HAVE to eat healthy.  A typical conversation at our house:

Bri: “Hello my wonderful wife, what’s for dinner?”

Me: “Well, we need to cook up the kale, beet greens, and zuccini…”

Bri: “You’re RIGHT.  And you’re beautiful.  And you don’t have to do the dishes ever again!”

And just like that, we’re on our way to a healthy dinner.

Organic has become somewhat of a marketing scheme these days (really, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, we still can’t pronounce your ingredients), and buying everything organic is just too expensive (and pointless).  Don’t let it get to you if you can’t, because we all do the best we can.  I really like, and believe in, this list of produce.  Take it with you wherever you do buy your fruits and veggies.

Remember, you are what you eat!  This season, we are kale and spinach and bok choy, oh MY!

Nana and her little bean at the farm!  I will re-create this picture every year until he’s 52.  Also, Mom is NOT a fan “Nana”, but I’m going with it:)

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