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[Dec. 7th, 2012|10:18 am]
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Are any of you part of a CSA? What kind of produce do you get in your boxes? Has it been worthwhile for you?
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[User Picture]From: chaostrophy
2012-12-07 06:26 pm (UTC)

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If this is what I'm thinking it is, then no. It is not a service that I feel would be worthwhile to me unless I lived a considerable distance from a grocery store with decent produce. I think that the chances of getting overly ripe or bruised fruit would be high enough that I'd just prefer to go to the store myself. It's probably also more cost effective for me.
[User Picture]From: dawgdays
2012-12-07 06:41 pm (UTC)

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Yes. Mix of vegetables and fruit. It's more expensive than going to the store, but it is 100% organic, and has also exposed us to stuff that we wouldn't normally purchase.
[User Picture]From: audacian
2012-12-07 06:44 pm (UTC)

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Yep, I do a CSA from Roxbury Farm in upstate NY. It's a certified biodynamic farm which IMO is way better than organic. The produce varies - at the beginning its mostly greens and squash, then we get anything from peppers, corn, green beans, turnips, beets, lettuces, spinach, basil, parsley, cilantro, arugula, chard, bok choi, tatsoi, eggplants, tomatoes of various varities, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, butternut squash, cabbage, onions, celierac, parsnips, carrots, and probably lots of other things I'm missing.

It's $528 for the season, which runs june through november. I also get a winter share, which is 90 pounds of things like cabbage, squash, potatoes, onions, etc. for $100.

Here's a pic from one pick up of our share over the summer, in August:




Edited at 2012-12-07 06:45 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: grrillaesthete
2012-12-07 06:59 pm (UTC)

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I used to, but it was just a little overwhelming for the two of us. All the produce was top notch, and we never got anything spoiled or bad. We live in So Cal, so there's year-round CSAs, though in the winter it tended to be a lot of lettucey things. We paid $225/quarterly.
[User Picture]From: verygwen
2012-12-07 07:01 pm (UTC)

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I belonged to a CSA for three years (or maybe just two) and then stopped. The first year was awesome and I met and loved a lot of new to me vegetables. The second year was bad due to numerous problems that the farmer was having and I felt like we didn't get any veg that was new to us. Plus I realized I love the social aspect of the farmers market and spreading the wealth around, so to speak, so I didn't like getting the bulk of my veg from one farmer.

I took pics of all of our boxes and the posts about them are all here -- http://www.mangeratrois.net/index.php/produce
[User Picture]From: hikerpoet
2012-12-07 07:18 pm (UTC)

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Yup, and I've enjoyed it. At first I was skeptical because I loved browsing farmer's markets so much, and I can't afford both, lol. But then our local one closed, and while there are other nearby ones that are doable, we decided to try the CSA this year instead.
It's a lot of fun to be surprised each week and like dawgdays said, it forces us to be creative in a good way.

You take on the risks and the rewards, but ours has been really good. Even when they've had an off week they've made up for it with stuff like cheese or wheatberries on barter from another farm. It's seasonal, and we're in New England, so you get what you'd expect from that. For what generally averages out to about 25 dollars, this last week we got carrots, onions, turnips/rutabagas, cabbage, butternut, acorn squash, tomatoes, apples, red potatoes, cider and eggs. And during the summer it was closer to what audacian mentioned in the middle of her list.

As for chaostrophy's worry, it is true some of the stuff is less "perfect" visually, but I have never once received something bruised or spoiled. Sometimes it is actually in sort of a fun way, like a two pronged carrot. Enough food to feed millions is wasted in this country because it isn't deemed ~perfect~ enough to put on store shelves--processes for donating this stuff needs to be refined--so I'm actually happy to have it.
[User Picture]From: noachoc
2012-12-07 08:14 pm (UTC)

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Nope, but I'm a member of a CSR (community sponsored restaurant). My husband and I paid in $500 at the beginning of the year and got a $500 gift card to spend there. We get priority in making reservations (which, to be honest, doesn't mean much because there's usually seating). There are supposedly going to be a couple of community dinners, which'll be free, and we get our own mugs.

It seemed like a nice idea to help out a local business, especially one that locally sources most of their food.
[User Picture]From: musicboxwaltz
2012-12-07 08:18 pm (UTC)

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from what ive heard, TOTALLY worth it
[User Picture]From: myste_uk
2012-12-07 09:16 pm (UTC)

OT

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Don't have a useful answer, sorry, but what's a CSA? I'm guessing from the responses it's something to do with food... but the only CSA I know of is the Child Support Agency (and that's what's returned when I google CSA)
[User Picture]From: ticktockman
2012-12-07 09:37 pm (UTC)

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CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It's a way for farmers to directly market to consumers, and for consumers to get farm-fresh produce (and other foods) every week during growing season. The customer pays a fixed price before the season starts, and will get a share of all produce grown. If the farmer has a bad season, the customer doesn't get a great deal.

http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

*daha*

[User Picture]From: myste_uk
2012-12-07 11:24 pm (UTC)

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Ah right, I see - thank you! :)
[User Picture]From: esaevian
2012-12-07 09:17 pm (UTC)

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I did a CSA in the Boston Area.

We got stuff like Kale, Tomatoes, Squash, pumpkins, carrots,

Better idea, their website says so: https://sites.google.com/site/parkerfarmma/csa/crops

I split a small share with just me and my girlfriend, and it was SO MUCH FOOD! We might do it again next year, and split the small share with two other people.
[User Picture]From: fieryphoenix
2012-12-07 09:35 pm (UTC)

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I was born 120 years too late to be part of the CSA.
[User Picture]From: awfulbliss
2012-12-07 09:55 pm (UTC)

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I have, it was fine. I guess it can kind of force you to try new things, but sometimes the selection is really lopsided in favor of a particular vegetable or fruit and it's just kind of hard to work with when that happens. I've been part of some supposedly really good ones and did not think that taste-wise it was any better than what I got in a typical grocery store in the northeast. I mean, maybe I'm just a complete philistine, but I think people are kind of fooling themselves if they say they can consistently taste a difference. I couldn't care less about whether something is "organic" or not, so there was really nothing there for me that justified the extra expense. I do like the general idea of CSAs, though.

Edited at 2012-12-07 10:02 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: hikerpoet
2012-12-08 12:42 am (UTC)

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I don't elevate it so much that I think every last thing is automatically much better than a grocery store, although ours is actually a really good deal price wise for organics, anyway. Honestly, things like sweet potatoes and apples have been consistently better from the food store. But other things, like the basil, the sweet corn (or the red cabbage they are sending out right now--yum!), are FAR superior than what I've found in the store. Another big perk is trying the new things, as lots of what they send are even just hard to find, as you mention.