CSA’s

Since reading “Adventures in Thrift” I have checked into some CSA’s. I have recieved a response from one, but am not sure if this is a good investment. Below is a list of7 months worth of organic veggies. I already spend about $520 a year on canned and store bought veggies.

I have plenty of storage space for canning. My goal would be to stretch these veggies out to last a full 12 months. Do you have experience with storing and keeping fresh veggies. What can I cook and freeze? What can I preserve? I am so excited at the possibilities. What do you think? Feedback wanted.

This is what the CSA is offering:

SHARE OPTIONS

FULL SHARE OF 12 POUNDS A WK FOR 28 WKS @ $24.00 A WK $672.00

HALF SHARE OF 7 POUNDS A WK FOR 28 WKS @ $17.00 A WK $476.00

PAY PLAN FOR FULL SHARE, $350.00 BY 2/20/08 BAL. IN 30 DAYS

PAY PLAN FOR HALF SHARE, $240.00 BY 2/20/08 BAL. IN 30 DAYS

PAY BY THE WK, $28.00 FULL SHARE

PAY BY THE WK, $21.00 HALF SHARE

CROPS

BUTTER BEANS- SPRING AND FALL
BROCCOLI- SPRING
CABBAGE- SPRING AND FALL
CARROTS- SPRING
COLLARDS- FALL
CUCUMBER- SPRING AND FALL
GREENS- FALL
LETTUCE- SPRING AND FALL
OKRA- SPRING INTO FALL
PEAS FIELD- SPRING
POTATOES- SPRING
SNAP BEANS- SPRING AND FALL
SUGER PEAS- SPRING
SQUASH SUMMER- SPRING
TOMATOES- SPRING AND FALL
TURNIPS- FALL
WATERMELON- SPRING
ZUCCHINI- FALL
SWEET CORN- SPRING

6 comments

  1. Earthmommy says:

    Hadias,

    Your figures were really interesting. I did some comparison pricing on local organics around here and it seems like about equal on most of the items. Of course I’m in NC and I don’t know where you are so that might affect prices.

    I am planning a small container garden with veggies, do you have any exprience with that? If anyone else does, I would love some tips!

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  2. Milehimama says:

    12 lbs. for $24 a week =$2 a pound. I don’t know if you have an organic store near you, but that is quite expensive for cucumbers, cabbage, and so on (but might be a good deal on the lettuce and tomatoes.) Buying processed canned organic tomatoes is cheaper than DIY, unless you get your tomatoes for free.

    For example, I can buy organic sweet potatoes for 99 cents-$1.99 a pound at EarthFare. Perhaps you could try it on the weekly plan for a little while to see if it is useful and saving money for you?

    Sauerkraut or Kimchi are easy for cabbage. Snap beans can be dried (look for Appalachian recipes, they call them “Leather Breeches Beans”.) Or canned. Or frozen! Broccoli can be blanched and frozen. So can corn… look in your grocer’s freezer and you’ll have an idea of what can be frozen! However, even our organic (Cascadian Farms) frozen veggies around here are generally less than $2 a pound, and they are already trimmed, cut, etc. so there is no waste. Consider those expenses carefully!

    Do you have any way to garden? Zucchini is ridiculously easy to grow and prodigious. The only things on your list that you can’t store long term looks like the lettuce. Everything else can be dried, canned, or frozen. Grate zucchini, freeze, and add to everything (bread, muffins, stir fry…)

    Watermelon can even be cut into chunks and frozen (it turns into a sorbet/slushy dessert!).

    Have you been able to talk to other families who use the program? They could give you an idea of what you get, when, and if it has helpted them save $.

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  3. ~ Angi :) says:

    I’ve not heard of this group share, Hadias. Howevere, I am planning a garden, and a return to canning this summer ~ YAY! :) I’m excited about those prospects! :)

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  4. Anonymous says:

    I have heard about these CSA’s…don’t know anybody who has signed up for it, though. As far as storing what you receive for future use, I would say insist that any tomatoes you receive have their stems still on them. They do last a bit longer, fresh, this way (on the other hand, if you’re planning to process the tomatoes, it wouldn’t matter). Carrots can be stored in containers of sand. Potatoes should be stored where it’s dry & dark, & not too warm. I have had very good results storing my leaf lettuce, after washing, wrapped in a barely damp dish towel then placed in a plastic bag…it seems to keep better this way. All the other vegetables you’ve listed should be able to be canned or frozen quite nicely. The Rodale book “Stocking Up III” has some excellent information in it, & I refer to it every year when garden season rolls around. Good luck!

    Brenda

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  5. Elizabeth says:

    My friend did a similar thing that I think was less expensive, but she had no control over what produce was sent to her. This didn’t matter to her, as she just used whatever she received. It was sent to her in smaller quantities, in season, so she didn’t have to worry about putting it up. She told me about this a long time ago, so the details are fuzzy in my memory. When we read Adventures in Thrift, I meant to ask her about it again, but I didn’t. I’ll try to remember to find out more details.

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