CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture is a popular new trend. This past year we decided to take part in a CSA program and we could not be happier. Since then we have had many questions about our experience. I thought I’d share our experience here and give you our list of 5 reasons to go CSA! It’s a delight when I open my door in the morning and there is a box of fresh produce on my door at the crack of dawn. I have been known to do a little dance in my PJ’s, especially when I can smell the freshness of what is in the box, even before I open it!
When Mr. Secrets and I first started to look at CSA programs in our area in Southern California, we realized there were many farms and programs to choose from. Honestly, they all seemed like a win.
I had friends that were a part of or had tried all of our local options and had many wonderful things to say about all of them! For us, we need something simple, flexible and with variety. Many services allow you to pick up produce at the farm, at a local drop off spot, or some deliver to your home. We opted for the home delivery option (I also tried a CSA that dropped off at a local drop spot, which happened to be the school I work at. So I’ve tried multiple ways.) The home delivery was simple and effective for us.
The next part I wanted was flexibility. The program we use is just that. They allow you not only to choose how often you get your delivery, but also suspend a delivery, add a vacation period, add an extra box, or even cancel at any time no strings attached. I really liked all those options.
Our CSA also offers many different box choices. Some are just veggie, some just fruit, and they come in different sizes as well. The variety and ability to change your box choice for me was great! They also give a full list where you can make exclusions, so if you have allergies or just plain don’t like something it will not be included in your box and will be swapped for something else.
Just recently, they added my favorite new feature! On their website you can sign into your own account and you can customize your box. It gives you the ability to look what’s in your box and swap items you would rather have or add extra items! This has been my favorite part in the past few weeks. I always love what is in my box, but with the customization feature we can add something we are craving like peaches, peppers, or avocados or we can swap one item for another.
I knew this box was the right choice when Mr. Secrets came home from work one day and said, “Honey, I am not sure we should be paying for our CSA box. I really did not like the celery in my lunch today.” I looked at him in amazement. I said, “Everything else came from the CSA box, that celery is from the grocery store.” WOW! He could taste the difference in the fresh organic veggies. I was sold at that point and he was too! Mr. Secrets is not big on veggies. He will eat fruit, but really he just wants meats and carbs. I thought this CSA would be a great way to get more veggies and fruits in our diets. I love that our fridge is always loaded with fresh produce! It has really made a difference in our life. Not only that we have fruits and veggies, but that they are so fresh and delicious.
So if you are on the edge, give it a try. These pictures are from my previous box!
5 reasons to go CSA!
I love how easy it is. The program we chose is no management. They have a great online component. I feel like fresh organic fruit and veggies magically show up on my door. (It’s not magic, but that is how simple it feels!) Not only that, it really helps us include healthy and fresh produce in our diet.
Our CSA is certified organic. I won’t go into all the health benefits. It can be lengthy. For me, I limit chemicals where I can. I think it is worth it. I understand it is not always the cheapest, but I think it taste best and is healthier too. Also organic farms protect local wildlife, the farmers, and protect biodiversity.
Grocery store veggies and fruit are not fresh. Sometimes it has been harvested over a week ago and who knows how long it has been there? Have you ever bought something and it doesn’t even make it to the next day? Can I tell you now, I have had my CSA lettuce last two weeks in my fridge. I am sure it would last longer. I haven’t tried, I eat it before then, this occasion I just genuinely forgot it was there. Most CSA comes within days of being harvested. It’s fresh. You can taste the difference. If Mr. Secrets can, so can you!
4.Supports Local Business/Farmers
You are a supporting a farm through a farming season by participating. Smaller farms are struggling. These programs are helping them to continue to provide high quality organic produce.
Getting to try new produce is fun! I especially love getting a new variety and the seasonal aspect is great! It has expanded our produce knowledge!
Our CSA has many other benefits that I love as I explained above. They also have events to attend, an awesome newsletter and access to recipes. I know other CSA programs have volunteer programs and other neat benefits too. So research. Any program you decide, you will benefit a local farm and benefit yourself with fresh produce.
Here is to fresh produce and local farms,
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