What is a CSA? and Why Should You Have One

It’s true, eating healthy can get a little spendy. The price alone for organic produce can often be more than our budgets allow. It’s important to look at all of your resources before giving up and hitting the 99 cent menu. Here are some options that likely exist in your town.

shutterstock_113430232CSA: (community-supported agriculture) is a great solution for those looking to eat locally grown organic foods and not break the bank in the process. These are local farms that sell “shares” for an entire growing season. Often, for one set price, you will receive a bounty of foods that are in season and straight from the farm. CSA’s also offer organic grass-fed meats and pasture-raised chickens and eggs. With a CSA, you will not only be getting the health benefits from eating wholesome local organic foods, but also supporting the organic farmers in your area. Joining a CSA, is an excellent way to ensure a steady supply of fresh, local produce. The best part…they often DELIVER! (hello! how great is it to have fresh produce show up at your doorstep?…sign me up!)

microFarmers Markets: I am a self-proclaimed farmers market junkie. When that certain day of the week rolls around, I am like a giddy kid headed to the candy store, I can’t wait to see what they have! Farmers Markets are great for picking up fresh produce for a fraction of what it costs at those expensive health food stores (ahem…I’m talking to you Whole Paycheck). One trick I’ve learned is, if you are really looking for a bargain, go later in the day. Vendors would often rather sell what they have left, for pennies, than to haul it back with them. Of course, getting there early has its perks with an incredible selection of yumminess. Also, get to know your vendors, they are an endless source of knowledge. They can let you know what crops are big producers (better prices) and what will be coming in the weeks to come.

shutterstock_103452785Grow Your Own: Even if you don’t have much of a green thumb or maybe you live in a teeny-tiny place, you can still grow some of the things that often cost the most. Herbs like basil, rosemary, and sage are easy to grow even if you only have a windowsill. You can even grow tomatoes in a pot on a small balcony. It doesn’t take much time or space to grow a few essentials that tend to add up at the grocery store. Round up your friends and each pick something different to grow and swap with each other through the season. There is something extremely satisfying about growing your own food, I’m convinced it tastes much better than anything that could be bought at the store.

Once fresh local foods are part of your lifestyle, you’ll be inspired to take the action required to have the highest-quality foods to nourish yourself and your family.