CSA Help


Laura B

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The farm I recently started purchasing my eggs and beef from has opened their subscriptions for Fall CSA. It is $275 for 11 weeks (roughly $25/week) and I can pick up my box along with my eggs each week.

I am pretty interested in signing up (especially for Fall since the farmer's markets close down), but am a little torn. First, I am not entirely comfortable with not knowing what I'm going to get because it could be corn or beans. I don't want to spend a lot of money on food I really don't want to eat. A lot of pictures they have on their Facebook page show regular potatoes in a lot of weekly boxes. I'm mostly OK with that, but again I would rather spend my money on sweet potatoes.

The second conflict I'm having is the price. All of the foods are organic which is awesome, but I just don't know if it is a good price. Sometimes the boxes look super full and other times a little skimpy. I know this all depends on the harvest, but I am apprehensive.

I really like supporting them and knowing where my food is coming from so that is a major plus. Here is a link: http://carltonfarms.internet-farmer.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=60&products_id=213

For those of you who have a CSA subscription, how do you like it or dislike it? Is this a fair price? (Keep in mind I live in GA, so COL is fairly low compared to the West or Northeast). Any of my ATL buddies CSA subscribers (from Carlton Farms or otherwise)?

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I've been in a CSA over the past year that costs roughly $25 per week and love it (Cherith Farms in Alpharetta, GA). I am confident that I would spend more like $50 at Whole Foods for what I get from the CSA for $25. My farmer disagrees, but I think I'm getting a great deal. Most of us pick up our food on Saturday mornings and I have swapped items I did not want for things I did with other members. No problems.

The description of my share is comparable to yours, but I eat it by myself and buy a few things from Whole Foods and Publix too. My wife rarely eats veggies or eggs. I am a bigger eater than many people. I did sometimes have trouble keeping up with all the greens I got at times, but as long as I ate greens three times per day most days, I was able to clear the refrigerator before loading up the next week's share.

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It took me a year to learn this with my CSA - hopefully others are quicker on the uptake! - but when you get a glut of something in your box, you can freeze it or put it up in some other way. It seems obvious in retrospect, but at the time I felt overwhelmed by all of the ________ (name your veg) I would get at once. Greens - which are the biggest part of most CSAs - can be blanched and frozen for use in soups and stews throughout the year.

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At my CSA, I assume this is the same everywhere, I can get a half basket vs. full. When I went out of town a few weeks ago, I asked her to only put together a half basket for me since I was leaving for a few days. And, you can always tell the farmer what you like/don't like. For example, I don't want potatoes or corn in my basket, but I love the bok choi so she loads me up on the stuff I like and keeps the stuff I don't like out. I also pick up 3 dozen eggs from her per week. It is wonderful...I would not do it any other way now.

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Thank you all for your input. It is something I am very interested in, and I think it would be pretty affordable split between my boyfriend and myself. I really like the idea of eating fresh, organic, seasonal veggies. I will talk it over with my boyfriend and the farmer on Thursday when I pick up my eggs and chuck roast. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I love my csa! Get some "green bags" that help the veg keep longer if needed. The farmers often let you swap something you don't want for extra of something else. I always go for extra spinach and kohlrabi (not much competition for the kohlrabi, but it's their loss! :D)

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The farmer's are super nice (duh) so I will ask them if they could skip some things from my shares. There's also a good amount of people who come to the pickup location, so maybe I'll get lucky with a swap! I'm really excited to have it in the Fall!

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