I hinted at this last night but Keith and I recently joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) for all of our grocery needs. For as long as we have been married some hot discussion topics for us have been how we can be eating healthier, helping our environment and supporting local businesses (maybe not always all at once). We have tried our hand at buying local produce, but the neighborhood mega mart always ends up being much more convenient than making a very thought out trip to the farmers market every week. We knew it was something that we wanted to continue to pursue though, because there are SO many farms in Tennessee producing amazing food and the idea of harmful pesticides and unfair worker wages are something that have been on my heart. Then there was the meat debate. You know you have seen all kinds of news reports and documentaries on how terrible America's meat is, whether the animals are raised in poor conditions or pumped up with hormones (usually both). Going to a butcher seemed pretty far out of our budget, the same way that buying organic meats can be very out of range. So what was our solution?
Purchasing a farm share from Avalon Acres, a local Tennessee farm.
Winter is a little bit different than purchasing a share in the summer because there obviously isn't quite as much produce, but we are still beyond excited about the fresh local groceries that we'll be receiving each month. AND we thought it was going to cost us an arm and a leg, but it's going to be quite a bit less than our regular grocery budget which still leaves us some room for things like milk, bananas and peanut butter (aka essentials). Avalon Acres works with a few local farms to put together their CSA so beyond produce, canned, frozen and dried goods we also have a choice of receiving homemade amish baked goods like bread, and pasta as well as all locally raised meats. I think this is going to be a great lesson in eating seasonally, and will force us to eat things that may have been out of our comfort zone before (like those root veggies in the refrigerator).
So in this weeks package we got: plenty of chicken breasts, purple peas, homemade sharp cheddar cheese, eggs, tons of root veggies and lettuces, kale, a pound of homemade pasta and a loaf of home baked bread. Oh! and some absolutely tasty peach preserves.
|Washing up some turnip greens and kale.|
|How our fridge currently looks with all our washed and chopped greens.|
|Breakfast this morning with my peach jam. Mmmmmm!|
|The rest of our bounty.|
Has anyone else ever tried a CSA? What did you love about it? If you've wanted to try one, what has stopped you?