Fresher Food for Less

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.

Ready for a CSA

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.

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.


  1. Serenbe Farms south of Atlanta fits this bill! You might be interested in the blog of one of our tutors who interned at Serenbe last year:

    It's curious to see that the more we analyze our wastefulness, the more we emulate our frugal ancestors. They would be proud!

  2. wow, that's another nice picture.
    Btw, about the address, I actually don't want to bother you to send it to UK, it's going to be quite expensive.
    I'll be happy if someone in US can take it over :-)


  3. What a really great idea. I'll have to check it out in my local area

  4. If enough people can catch your vision maybe we can turn this thing around. Its too bad that we have to go through all this pain and suffering (its going to get much worse) to get back to where we should have been all along. Thanks for you insights.

  5. I love the locally grown veggies here in the summer....this makes me long for them.

  6. Incredible photo and great message. We buy locally when we can.

  7. What a great idea. We always buy locally whenever we can and I will definitely check into CSA in our area.

  8. I am so lucky that I live in such a bountiful place. It's more of a challenge in winter, but next year I hope to be able to buy and freeze enough local, organic fruits and veg to get us through the winter.

  9. I have an organic veggie delivery service. Most of it is local produce, but during the winter they have been known to send me avocados, which grow nowhere near rainy Oregon! I would like to join a CSA, but without a car I don't know how I'd get the box home. (Maybe a wheelbarrow? Hm.)

    Thanks for joining us for Thrifty Green Thursday! (Even though Mr. Linky wasn't cooperating!)

  10. believe or not, me, who hates veggies has actually had my own garden the last couple of years! i've grown corn, cucumbers, and okra - things i actually do eat, and onions, peppers, carrots, and lettuce for hubby and the kids. we also mooch taters and sweet taters and green beans from the in-laws across the road. Surprisingly, our small county even has a farmer's market complete with new pavillion and lots of vendors! check out the link and maybe see about getting your community to do something like this too.

    sorry don't know how to make it a clickable link in the comments

  11. We belong to a CSA and find that it does force us to eat more kale then we could ever imagine. Lately the onslaught of rutabagas, cabbage and radishes has been a little tough to handle so we may take a winter break and join up again in the spring. Still, it feels great to be investing in local farms and eating such fresh, healthy organic food! Thanks for joining us this week for Thrifty Green Thursday!

  12. cody you have an amazing lady...but you already know that...ANYWAY...your post was full of good are a really imaginative way to use large quantities fruits and veggies...

  13. We LOVE our CSA: Full Circle Farm. They have a news letter that comes with our weekly box letting us know what's going on at the farm and recipes for the ingredients we get in our box. Thanks for sharing this information. Thanks to our CSA I go to the grocery store so much less.

  14. That's great--i totally agree, I try to support local businesses as much as possible. we use a service that provides organic produce, but it isn't always local--mostly in the summer it is.

  15. I learned something new today - never heard of CSAs before. I don't think we have them around here.

  16. Fresh always tastes so much better. I am trying to grow a few more veggies of my own at home.

    CSA – stands for Child Support Agency here, nothing to do with farming, you could also say nothing to do with support either as they aren’t good at collecting unpaid monies from dead beat parents.

  17. We try to eat locally grown but we can't always do that. We do get a vendor from Washington that comes up in the summer and we try to meet him twice a year. =]

    lovely photo...great tones!

  18. Great food for thought - pun intended. I didn't do the CSA but tried to stay faithful to the farmers I know who sell at our local farmer's market. I'm attempting (again) for a little garden of my own this summer.

  19. Speaking of green peppers, last summer we grew tons of our own and then froze them. I have been using them all winter!

  20. great photo!

    I did a CSA the first summer after I moved to Oregon. I did like the weekly produce that I just had to pick up, the fact that it came with veggies I had never tried, and the recipes. But .. I decided that CSAs weren't for me. I like visiting farmers' markets too much - so would wind up with unused produce because I'd have too much with the CSA + the stuff I couldn't resist at the market.

    That being said, I have a dream CSA, LOL.

  21. worthwhile post
    artful photo,
    i must say.


    do you know this book----->
    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
    by Barbara Kingsolver

    i bet you do, but if not,
    give it a read...
    i learned so much from it.

    {{ at this moment here in florida
    we are
    eating local oranges
    and grapefruit
    like crazy.... }}

  22. We live in a lush valley and I feel insane when I buy vegies that were shipped in. That's why our small garden was so great last summer & we plan on that again. Our next-door neighbors do belong to a CSA and I've been very interested in knowing more. Thanks so much for the great tip on reserving early. I never thought about that angle.
    The last part of the comment from Lee is so true and I've thought the same thing!:
    "It's curious to see that the more we analyze our wastefulness, the more we emulate our frugal ancestors. They would be proud!"

  23. it makes for better cooking.and cheaper.

  24. What a great post!! We have a ox of local fruit and veg delivered every week and it's great! You can't beat the cost or the flavour.