Jan 26 2010

Start saving for your CSA now

This year, we’ll be joining a CSA for the first time. A CSA, or community-supported agriculture, is a fantastic way to eat local (and maybe organic) produce, support a local farm, save time and money, and eat more healthfully.

My friend Renee suggested a particular farm which offers a variety of share sizes.

We’ll probably get the “small” share which costs $300 for 22 weeks. That’s a mere $13.64 per week. A large share costs $475, or $21.59.

We’ll get 6-8 varieties of fruits and veggies each week, and on occasion, they’ll toss in some preserves, flowers, baked goods and other treats.

Sounds like a deal to me!

I’ll have to drive just a short distance to my pick-up point each week. I like how I won’t have to stop at a farmers’ market or spend a lot of time in the produce section at the grocery.

And, since I’ll know what types of produce I’ll get each week (it’ll be listed on their web site), it’ll help me plan menus a little quicker.

I’ve never been so excited about produce!

The $300 price tag is a good deal, but it is a lot of money upfront. Since payment isn’t due until May, I’ll set aside some money each month until then to cover our costs.

If you’re thinking about joining a CSA this year, why not start researching your options now? You can choose your CSA and find out how much it’ll cost. Be prepared to add it to your budget now, and enjoy a lower grocery budget during the summer.

Find a CSA in your area by visiting this site.

Have you done a CSA in the past? How was your experience?

15 Responses to “Start saving for your CSA now”

  1. This will be my first time in a CSA. Mine is $395 for a half share for a 20 week season. We had to do 50% down with 50% due in June. I’m really excited about it. I eat a lot of produce and I have a limited diet when it comes to grains and processed food (I can’t have gluten) so this will be a great opportunity for me to have an awesome variety of fresh, delicious produce!

  2. It is awesome that you’re doing this! It’s a great way to support local farmers, and, in turn, the environment. We learned about it in a class I took on the Green movement, I thought it sounded wonderful. I’m very proud :) You’ll have to keep me posted as to how it goes. xoxoxo

  3. Good deal! My CSA is 20 weeks and $425 for a small share; $695 for large.

  4. I’m on my third week with a CSA here in California. I love it! It has forced me to eat more veggies, particularly lots of winter greens which I hadn’t tried before. I highly recommend the cookbook, “Simply in Season” which is divided by season and makes it easy to find recipes for the fruits and veggies you’ll be getting in your CSA share.
    .-= Christina´s last blog ..Breastfeeding, blogging, and balance =-.

  5. Oh man! Mine doesn’t start until the first week of June!

  6. That sounds like a great idea! That’s so cool you’re doing that. I may have to look into that for us!
    .-= Bethany B-A´s last blog ..Productive weekend…? =-.

  7. I’ve loved my experiences with my CSA. They offer whole or half shares as well, and I found that a half share kept me eating tons of fruits and veggies all summer and fall. It also helped me to learn to cook seasonally–which is healthy AND wallet-friendly. I use 101cookbooks.com for recipes for veggies that I’ve worked with less, like chard.
    .-= Catie´s last blog ..Catching up. =-.

  8. I’ve done a couple different CSAs. I just want to encourage people to look NOW and start saving this summer for next year. All the ones I’ve done take signups over the winter. The one I joined this year requires payment by Feb 10, but if I did it by Jan 10, I got a discount. Both of them open to current members first, so if you do it a second time, you might need to pay even sooner. Around here, CSAs fill up quickly, it seems!

  9. Bingo! That’s exactly why I started looking now. You never know if one will fill up fast, or if they’ll require early payment. By the time I thought about joining a CSA last year, it was too late.

  10. I don’t eat many veggies or fruits so this would be a total waste of money for me. I’m not saying I SHOULDN’T eat those things…just that realistically, even with the best of intentions, I wouldn’t. I do love going to the Farmer’s market so I figure I support my local farmers there for the few things I will eat.
    .-= megscole64´s last blog ..Huge Contest Ending Soon =-.

  11. Love, love, love my CSA (and obviously did a good job of “selling” Kacie on it, too.) I like knowing where my food comes from and who grows it. My favorite thing about it though, is that our son will grow up knowing that food comes from the ground, not from plastic containers. I’m convinced that our CSA share is responsible for his willingness to eat vegetables. Every week before we went into the little CSA “store” I had to give him a strict talking-to about how he canNOT eat the fruit and veggies on the shelf unless mommy hands it to him. What a wonderful “problem” to have!

  12. Thanks for posting this! I was getting excited and checked out the CSA website and found a farm nearby. But ours is $250/month! OUCH! Ours runs from May to November. That’s just too pricey for me. :( Especially when it’s only my husband and I (and a newborn sometime in July). There are other farms, but they’re quite a drive for the pick ups, not sure how that would work with our work schedules. But thanks for posting this, because I had never heard of it!

  13. I was going to be a part of a CSA a couple of years ago, but it fell through. That was a little disheartening and I haven’t looked since. I plan to frequent the local farmer’s market this year…especially since it is only a few blocks from my house.

    That’s probably the most difficult thing about CSA’s…if they have a bad year, you do too.

    That said; however, I would definitely try again!
    .-= Amy @ Raising Arrows´s last blog ..Finding a New Obstetrician =-.

  14. There are a lot to choose from around Pittsburgh. I started with Kretschmann’s and tried Dilner’s last year based on price and locations. I was really pleased.
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..Displaced a yinzer cries haiku – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review =-.

  15. I’m going with Dillner’s this year! Glad you liked them.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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