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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Catching Up & Some CSA Alternatives

our basket on 7/8

Our last few CSA pickups have been last minute and unplanned, so I have had more trouble documenting our weekly veggies. Once summer gets into full swing, schedules seem to fall by the wayside. Perhaps to make up for the divergence from the schedule, we got blueberries in our last produce bag!

While I am not really troubled by the changing plans with our CSA pickups, I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about some alternatives to CSAs for those who are still interested in fresh, locally grown produce (I wrote more in-depth about some advantages here and here).
One of the make or break concepts of the CSA is "shared risk," which means that all the investors are sharing the risk of a poor season with the farmer. On the flip side, there is of course a shared benefit if the farm has a good season. For me, I like the idea of shared risk, because I believe it really helps people reestablish the connection between food and the land. I also hope that poor seasons would be a time when the investors would "rally around the farmer,"and really build a community for the experience. However, this might not be a great option for those with tight budgets and families to feed.

In case you are curious, over here Gus & I generally use a combination of our CSA, Whole Foods, and a regular grocery store to feed ourselves. The majority of our food probably comes from the CSA, but we supplement with Whole Foods meat and coffee, and fruit, avocados, eggs, and onions from Fred Meyer. We probably stop at a co-op once a month for indulgences like raw cocoa and expensive curry paste. Oh, and some Costco coconut oil. It's not a perfect system, but it's (kind of) affordable and seems to work so far.

For some more information on shared risk, check out this article from Organic Consumers. NPR also ran an interesting article today about how large a CSA can grow and still be sustainable. There are some interesting facts about CSAs in general included.

 our basket on 7/15

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