We signed up for our Spring CSA yesterday and guess what, you should too! I first signed up for a CSA after reading Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan (life changing book, by the way). Short of actually going to school to study nutrition, purchasing a CSA share has had the greatest impact on the general health of our diet.
Maybe this whole CSA thing is all new to you? CSA stands for community-supported agriculture. When you order a CSA box, you are purchasing a share in a local farm. In return, you’ll receive weekly deliveries of farm fresh produce. Farmer’s benefit since they are paid before harvest, which more evenly distributes their cash flow. But the consumer is the real winner, since you’ll be receiving the absolute freshest produce possible. Think how much more nutrition you’ll get from a just-picked tomato – not to mention how much better it will taste. So good that in fact, I HATED raw tomatoes until I tried a heirloom tomato from our CSA.
What I like most about our CSA is that it forces us to try new vegetables and recipes. Since the farm determines what produce you receive, you may find a food you’ve never eaten, or maybe even seen before! Radishes, turnips and microgreens were foods I had only eaten at restaurants until I received them in my CSA basket.
I can’t say enough about having a connection to where your food comes from. Saying grace takes on a special meaning when you personally know the hands that grew the food on your plate.
If you are trying to eat healthier, ordering a CSA is probably the best thing you can do to push yourself towards a more plant-based diet. Whether you like it or not, you’ll be forced to eat more veggies or else they will go to waste! You will find yourself planning meals around vegetables, rather than meat.
Interested in getting a share? If you live in the Columbia, SC area, I recommend City Roots, which is where we order our CSA. We receive the medium share, which is a large, reusable shopping bag filled with produce and basically covers 50-75% of the vegetables we use for the week. We eat mostly vegetarian though, so you might find it covers a greater percentage for your family. City Roots is a sustainable farm and although they are not certified organic (that certificate is expensive!), the produce is grown organically. We enjoy the heirloom varieties that are included and have developed a small major obsession with their microgreens. Previously, we ordered through Gruber Farms, which is pictured on this post. They deliver to many sites around low-country SC, including Columbia, and to my husband’s workplace, which was nice. To find a CSA near you, use localharvest.org’s database.