Thursday, May 28, 2009

Check out CSA's for Your Produce

My family and I recently joined the South Central Farmers' Cooperative Community Supported Agriculture group -- a mouthful ... SCFCSA for short. I located them through Local Harvest, a website where you can find local farmer's markets, farms, CSA's, and co-ops.

A CSA is an organized effort to connect people in a community with their local farmers -- in a VERY CHEAP way. A box of USDA-certified organic veggies with SCFCSA lasts a family of five 1-2 weeks and costs between $15-40 (you pay what you want in that range).

For us, we order online for a weekly box of organic veggies and pick them up at one of many local farmers' markets in the area. SCFCSA has been expanding their pick up locations and days to the point that it is worth it for me to go every week or every couple of weeks to pick up a box.

What has been interesting about this experience is that you don't choose what goes into that box. So that means you get what is in season. This has forced my family to try new foods and find new recipes to make things like chard, kale, and beets be exciting. I signed up at Epicurious.com to find recipes, and SCFCSA also lists really good recipes on their website too.

With so many of our U.S. children used to eating a very narrow set of foods that have little taste, unless they are loaded with sugar, it has been challenging to get my kids interested in new tastes. So, I usually combine new flavors with familiar ones. And I'll find recipes that mix in greens with other things they like.

Also, another interesting point is that ever since we started with SCFCSA we've been eating more veggies. This is good health news for my entire family.

I encourage you to see if there is a CSA in your area -- check it out.

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