Jul 1, 2010

CSA - for free?

Hi there, remember me?
Yeah, I know - it's been a LONG time since I've posted, I'm taking some time to re-evaluate what I want from this blog and spending some much-needed time managing the crazy place I call home. With me working two jobs, hubby working and going to school, and a 3 1/2 year old and 10 month old keeping me busy, there's not a lot of extra time to blog! I promise, though, that I am planning to get back on the horse soon...

But I HAD to share this little nugget of wisdom while it was fresh in my mind!

I have been wanting to participate in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program for a long time. The basic idea is, you buy a "share" of local farms' produce at the beginning of the season, and each week during the program you pick up a box of goodies (usually from June to October). The farmers get a nice chunk of money to carry them through the growing season, and you get fresh, local produce (and sometimes cheese, plants and other goodies) while supporting local agriculture! It's a win-win situation, but for us it has always been pretty cost-prohibitive. Around here, most full shares go for $500-650 and that's a lot of money for us to come up with.

Well I did some inquiring, and found that a few of my local farms do what is called a "workshare" program - basically, you volunteer a few hours weekly to help on the farm, in exchange for a full share of their CSA....that's a SIX HUNDRED DOLLAR value for a couple of hours of labor! It's not necessarily easy - usually picking in the fields, doing some of the hard labor, etc. But DEFINITELY worthwhile! I just agreed to help out a farm for 4 hours a week picking their crop surplus for donation to the local food bank.

It's another way to save a little money this summer! Check out this directory to find local CSA participating farms in your area, and ask if they offer a work-share type program!

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1 comment:

Marianne said...

Hello there Miss Suzanne! It's your old HUC friend Marianne :) Which farm are you doing the CSA work at? I think that is such a GREAT trade off and would love to look into the same thing next year! Hope you and the family are doing well!