Ireland

Ireland

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A new way to shop

Every Friday I drive about 3 miles to a local Amish farm. If I'm lucky I can park right next to the door, if I'm unlucky I'll park 4 or 5 buggy's away. Walking through the parking lot I always watch where I step. I learned that from experience.

What happens is this. I walk into an unlit building and choose a plastic box that's overflowing with freshly picked vegetables from a pile of boxes lined up on a wooden table. I check my name off a list and go home and empty the box into my refrigerator.

The next Friday, I return with my empty box, pick up another full one and head home again. It takes a lot of pressure of me. I hate food shopping.

We belong to a local CSA or Community Supported Agriculture. It's a really cool program. You pay X amount of dollars to be a member for a year and what that gets you is a box of freshly picked organic veggies, every week. Show up at the farm between noon and 6 PM and pick up your box. You can't beat it.

We never know what will be in the box, it depends on the growing season, so that's kind of fun.

I like the idea of supporting local family farms. It's also a great deal for organic food, which can be a bit pricey at the grocery store.

The benefit for the farmer is he has a nice cash flow at the beginning of the season and he can spend time marketing his food before his 16 hour days in the field begins.

Our benefit is super fresh food and the exposure to new foods.

Personally getting to know the guy who grows the food that ends up on our table is just an added treat.

14 comments:

Frau said...

That is so cool...worth the extra cost if you ask me.

slommler said...

What a great idea!! And yummy too!
Hugs
SueAnn

Melinda said...

That sounds wonderful. I've heard of those programs. Inspires me to see if we have anything like that here.

Peterson Family said...

I love that idea. I think it is cool that everything you are getting is what is in season! Yummy!

dcpeg said...

Call me stupid [many do], but what grows during the winter in cold, cold PA?

I really like the idea of supportig local farmers and shop at our farmer's market every Wednesday right here, in Foggy Bottom, during the warm months. They don't come in winter. . .

Barefoot from Heaven said...

Oh I love this. Helping other and yourself with the fun of the surprise what will be in the box next week.Awsome.

Mark said...

My wife tells me some of the veggies are stored from the growing season and they have green houses where they grow some stuff in the winter

Meri said...

Fabulous way to support local farming and get fresh food. Now you've got me wondering about opportunities in my community.

Mark said...

Google CSA and there is a wealth of info.

Anonymous said...

The Csa runs when the farmer's markets do not. It gives the farmer start up money for the next growing season as well as padding for the winter. Our farm is owned by a very progressive Amishman. He has a greenhouse, and a cold frame, and stores things like onions and sweet potatoes to be distributed throughout our Csa season. WE belong to a local food co-op as well, but the Csa is obviously much fresher, and less expensive. Last week's box had a bag of beautiful baby greens, parsnips, sweet potatoes, red onions and radishes. You can also buy fresh brown eggs for $2.

Anonymous said...

Sorry! The comment was left by Mark's wife Mary Ellen.

Mark said...

I'd like to thank "anonymous Mary" for her input. There you have the answers from my CSA expert.
Love ya anonymous Mary.

beth said...

wow...this is my kind of shopping!

I think it's so cool that you get to do this regularly...do you ever take them anything ?

Marilyn said...

What a great way to shop. I have thought of signing up for a CSA, but have not done so. A great idea.

The dog below does look embarrassed, funny!

A very beautiful place to visit for a touch of spring time.