Saturday, June 4, 2011

Community Supported Agriculture

This year we made the decision to buy a share in Colchester Farm's Community Supported Agriculture program! Have you heard of Community Supported Agriculture? From Colchester Farm's website:

Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a mutually beneficial partnership between local farmers and community members. In advance of the season, members buy a share of the upcoming harvest providing the farmer with the funds needed to cover the costs of operation. In return for their investment, members receive a weekly share of freshly harvested produce. In this commitment, CSA members share with the farmer both the bounty and the risks involved with farming.

This is something that I had looked into for several years, and just never felt ready to take the plunge. Yesterday was our first pick-up for the season, and I am SO glad that we joined! We have a small share, which is 5 units every week. A unit is a predetermined size for each type of produce, similar to sizes you buy in a grocery store (a head of lettuce, 8 oz of peas, etc). Our share cost $345 for 26 weeks, which works out to just over $13 a week. Considering that the produce we are getting is pesticide-free, that is an awesome deal!

Colchester Farm is about 30 minutes away from our home in Middletown, and yesterday was my first time to the farm. Colchester offered a pick-up in Middletown, but we would not be able to pick out the specific items of our share. By going to the farm I feel like we are really getting the whole "experience" of being part of a CSA...getting to know the people who run the farm and pick the food each week, as well as the other participants. Also, we are using this as a learning experience for our 2-year-old daughter (and really our son too, even though he is too young to understand). Our daughter was so excited to go to the farm! We talked about it all day, and she helped me to weigh out our different items at the pick-up. She can't wait to go back next week!
Here is what we got this week (isn't that a ton of food??):

(Clockwise from top) We got a head of lettuce, spinach, sweet potatoes, oregano and spearmint, snow peas, sugar snap peas, and garlic scapes. I was a total wuss and got pretty much all familiar foods this week. I could have gotten kohlrabi but I chickened out. I think I will get some next week if it is available again!

We are so excited for the rest of the CSA season! I will be doing an update on our share from the farm every week. Happy Saturday!


  1. That is awesome! I have thoughts about doing a CSA, but I fear I am not brave enough yet. We are a bit too stuck on fairly basic vegetables I think, that I fear I would not love some of the things I got, and consequently let them go to waste.

  2. Good for you! We had a CSA membership for 8 years in New Jersey before we moved to Delaware this year and it was such a great thing. Like you, we picked up our produce at the farm, and I feel like my kids got invaluable exposure to where their food comes from and what it looks like growing in the fields (occasionally they even got to go out and pick things like green beans and tomatoes). It also pushed us, as a family, to be more adventurous eaters, as we often received new-to-us items in our weekly share.

    Since we're new to the area we decided to take this year off from CSA membership and just visit the farmer's markets each week. We're hoping to learn more about the local farms and join one next season.

    Enjoy your veggies!


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