Today's post is brought to you by my better half, Cody. You may remember another "green" post he did about our new Vermicomposter a while back. The below post will illustrate how Cody & I are making an effort to become greener by the week.
As the world takes its belt in a notch, it becomes even more essential for us to find the best ways to save. That ridiculously priced green pepper isn't just paid for out of your own pocket. A field sprayed with fungicides and pesticides paid into that pepper too. The storage and shipping of those peppers also has its costs, and then the market has to turn a profit. Where does that dollar then go? Wouldn't it be better to keep money within your community? Buying local food is an amazing way of strengthening a community, financially and socially. A great way of getting farm-fresh produce throughout the growing season is through Community Supported Agriculture or CSA.
This is where a family can buy into a share of the farm's bounty by paying a portion of the operating costs. The family gets a closer connection to how their food is grown and along with this, a greater understanding of the fluctuations of the seasons. Eating what's in season helps reduce the demand for produce shipped from the opposite hemisphere. The farmers operational costs are shared which alleviates the burden of loans and cushions the risks of investment due to bad weather conditions, poor market price, or a number of other factors that can make smaller farms vulnerable.
This kind of community farming strengthens food culture and encourages healthy and creative cooking. It connects people to one another and the area they live while encouraging better environmental stewardship and a stronger local economy. This is all while eliminating the costs of shipping, preserving, and retail of wholesale food. Who doesn't want fresher food without packaging that traveled by hand and was bought cheaper from your new friend right in your own neighborhood?
Look around for a farm offering a CSA near you. I found that there's not an all inclusive online guide but that combining searches online with my local newspapers and organic food publications from the market yielded a handful to choose from. Also, check the farmers market. Spaces are usually limited, and now is the time to reserve.
Below are some resources we found useful when looking for one in our area.
- Local Harvest - Search Engine
- Biodynamics - Gives a great introduction about CSA's if you want more info.
- UK readers may find these links useful: www.cuco.org.uk or http://www.cwmharrylandtrust.
The CSA we signed up for here in Boone is with Creeksong Farm.
If you check out the CSA tab on the left, there is a list of expected produce for each month.
p.s. Don't let those onions fool you, we bought those at the grocery store.
I realized I hadn't ever taken photos of veggies before, so I did this one when I got home from work.
Posted in Thrifty Green Thursday