Are CSAs worth it?
- March 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm #22464
In an effort to eat healthier and take advantage of some great local good, I’m interested in joining a CSA program. However, my kids aren’t super adventurous when it comes to veggies, and the last thing I want is to be stuck with a large quantity of veggies that they refuse to eat each month. Have others found success with CSAs? Do you generally receive food that your kids like? It seems rather expensive, so I want to make sure it’s worth it!March 26, 2012 at 6:53 am #22466
Hi MsMacy2. A few of the moms from our Mom to Mom blog have commented about their experience with local CSAs. You can read their thoughts here to get an idea of how they feel about their CSA experiences: http://blogs.brighthorizons.com/momtomom/?s=CSAMarch 26, 2012 at 10:27 am #22467
CSA’s are expensive and they do often come with a plethora of vegetables that may be unusual (or balked at frankly) for young children. However I do love participating in it every year. I think the process alone is a great model for children. First it opens up conversations about why it’s important to support local farms. Depending on the process for pick-up it may also give your child the opportunity to go to the farm and chat with the farmer who grows their food. It also shows your children that you yourself are open to trying new vegetables (something you may often ask of your child).
With that said, there are some flexibility with CSA’s. I choose a small share each year because I still like to go to the farmers market and farm stands to get my seasonal favorites. Plus, we also grow a small garden. If you do your research you may also find CSA’s in your area that do theirs a little different than the standard pick up your pre-selected box/bag of food. One farm in our area allocates a certain $ amount and you get to go in and choose the veggies up to that amount. Others have a leave/swap program that allows members to change items with each other using a community leave basket.
CSA’s are not for everyone and there are tons of other opportunities to engage children in the eat local movement. You may want to start frequenting a farmers market or farm stand of some local farms for the first year so you can get a taste of the types of produce they have during the season.March 26, 2012 at 11:09 am #22468
I totally agree with Nourish Mom. The first year we did a traditional CSA the greens were totally wasted on us. However, last year, we participated in a CSA where they just gave you "farm bucks" and you were able to just purchase what you wanted from their farm stand at a discounted rate. This format was perfect for us because our kids still had the experience of going to the farm and seeing where the veggies were grown, but we could avoid leafy greens if need be. As a plus, we were also able to purchase grass fed beef, eggs, and maple syrup with the money.
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