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Can anybody tell me about their experiences buying a CSA share? I just found a CSA that has a dropoff point right where I work, which is what has been my biggest stumbling block before about signing up for one. Usually, the drop offs are so out of my way as to make the idea unappealing.<br><br>
The thing is, this one seems kind of pricey, compared to others I've seen. It's $440 for a share, but it's organic and it runs from June-early Oct. I don't know anybody IRL who has used a CSA, and I could use a few anecdotes to talk dh and myself into shelling out that much up front. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
So, if you're had a CSA, please talk to me about the quality of the produce, the type of stuff you've gotten, how it's impacted your family's eating and meal planning.
 

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We love ours; this is our third year with it. It's fantastic to get a good variety of organic veggies every week, and I love the element of surprise and challenge that comes with it. IIRC ours is comparable in price to yours but it runs a little longer.<br><br>
Can you try a half-share for this season? or if money is an object (that is, if you are financially strapped and not just nervous about paying that much money w/o knowing what you are getting into), lots of CSAs offer scholarships/financial aid. Contact the treasurer to ask. You might also want to talk to the farmer or whoever's in charge about your concerns, and see if you can work something out. They also ought to be able to tell you roughly what amount of produce you'll get each week; ours, for example, says 7-11 for a full share each week. Sometimes it's 7; sometimes it's 11 and even more. You really are "sharing" in the growing season and the risks and potentials of the farm. For some people, that's cool and fun; for others, it's not worth it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
The other thing to bear in mind is that it's not all about the veggies. Ours is a great community, and we love meeting new people through it, working on the farm, and supporting a local farm that might otherwise not make it. So I think you have to factor those things into the decision, too. Yours might not be as "community" oriented, but you might not know that until you check into it, either.<br><br>
Anyhoo. We give ours a big <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> and can't wait for the produce to start rolling in this year! HTH.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks!!! It does help!<br><br>
We are comfortable financially, just cheap and a little apprehensive about forking over a chunk of money without exactly knowing what we are getting. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
This particular CSA doesn't do half shares, but I do have a colleague who is trying to feed her family a bit healthier, too, and I might be able to talk her into splitting a share. The CSA is perfectly fine with that.<br><br>
Anybody else?
 

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Another thumbs up here. We've had a CSA share for 4 years and love all the different aspects of it - a lot of super fresh veg, supporting a local organic farmer, meeting other members. We really miss it in the winter and even helped organize a (more limited) winter share last year.<br><br>
It can be challenging to keep up with the volume and variety, but I like the challenge of learning how to cook new foods/recipes. It gets me out of my "broccoli every week" rut. Outside of the CSA season, I now find myself regularly buying a much wider range of veg than I did before. Sometimes you wish you'd get more of something or less of something, but that's how it goes - and I do like that you're following the seasons locally and not just getting something flown in from Peru. If you find you're having trouble keeping up with cooking everything you get, learn how to preserve/freeze some of it so that it doesn't go to waste and you can enjoy it later.<br><br>
We definitely eat a ton more veg than we did before and I love that my kids have grown up learning how to eat all these different foods (don't get me wrong, they still won't eat everything!). The quality is very good (it's so fresh), but you do also have to deal with occasional mostly cosmetic flaws (eg high winds dried out edges of greens, low rainfall equals smaller whatever) as you get what nature produces.<br><br>
Our CSA posts a weekly newsletter online the day before the box that lists more or less what we'll be getting so that helps a bit with menu planning, but like the previous poster I like the element of surprise. It would be a very long list if I named everything we got. Here is a list our CSA posted, but over the season we probably got 2-3x that in variety:<br>
SAMPLE BOXES<br>
SPRING: Arugula, Lettuce, Radishes, Strawberries, Sugar Snap Peas, Swiss Chard, Beets<br>
SUMMER: Watermelon, Potatoes, Garlic, Red Tomatoes, Basil, Green Beans, Eggplant, Zucchini<br>
FALL: Fennel, Potatoes, Lettuce, Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Toscano Kale, Winter Squash, Celeriac
 

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We are in our 3rd year at a CSA. We've tried 2 different farms. My first suggestion is to see if they have a half share alternitive, Second idea is to split the share with someone, neighbor, co-worker or Does the CSA have a board where you can post "share to split"? We are splitting our share with a neighbor this year, because it is expensive and because I don't think our family of 4 (ds2 only eats bm) will eat all of a whole share. Especially if it is organic $440 is a reasonable price. Ours for the same time period is 550, also organic. The one farm we belonged to actually gave out a spread sheet of what was distributed and what it would have cost at market value. They also sell to general public. BUying the same amount of veggies would have cost 3x what we paid.<br><br>
I also think supporting farming in this country is very important. HTH
 

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we are in our 2nd year with CSA. We love it. We go pick up our share, and I bring the girls with me. The farmers love them! They love to chase the chickens all over the farm, too!<br>
We like how there is a newsletter with each pickup- and usually there is a recipe for whatever the "curious" veggie is that week.<br>
We've eaten a lot healthier than if we bought crap-grocery from a super shop. Its organic and very worth it.<br>
best of luck!
 
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