This is the time when CSAs are starting up again.
WHAT IS A CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. A CSA is a group which has arranged with a local farmer to purchase the farmer’s produce on a regular basis. (This is normally organic produce, and the farmer advises the CSA where produce is not organic– at least, this is how it works in my CSA) Individual CSAs will differ as to what they offer. (With my CSA, you can get vegetables, add on fruit, and add on other sorts of “natural/organic foods)
If you were in a CSA last year, your CSA is probably looking to hear from you, to know if you want to be in again this year. If you were not in a CSA last year, but you want to be in one this year, now is the time to get on the waiting list (CSA membership may be limited, so, if you were a member last year and you want to do it again, you should probably contact your CSA now, if they have not already contacted you. If you want to join a CSA, you should contact your CSA of choice now and get on the waiting list, if necessary)
I am in New York City, so I am going to focus on the CSAs in the the five boroughs. (if you do not live in heaven — or Gomorrah, google CSA “your city/area” to find your local CSAs — that is what I have just done for NYC)
If you are in NYC, please go to http://www.justfood.org/csa/locations/
to find a CSA near you. (We have many, all over the city, in all of the boroughs. You may have to go a couple of subway stops, but it will be worth it!)
I thoroughly enjoyed my membership in my CSA (www.astoriacsa.com) last year (and I am enjoying my “winter membership” as I speak! (with my winter membership, I get 20 lbs of root vegetables – beets, carrots, radishes, etc.– and sometimes some garlic! I also get a winter fruit share, which has been apples and pears)
When I first signed up with my CSA, I was daunted by the price, and, not understanding how much produce would be delivered, I got a partner, to share the produce and, most importantly, the cost. (fortunately for me, my share partner traded her share for services, so I wound up with the entire share for most of the season — I say “fortunately” because, as a raw foodist, I ran through my “half” in one or two days!)
My experience, ultimately, last year, was a STRETCH to find raw ways to use things I got in my box (we got the vegetables in a box). I learned all sorts of new things, and I found many new options, because I accepted the challenge, each week, to find a way to use what was in my box. (I am still enjoying, this winter, many things that I could not use last summer, because, what I could not get to, or could not figure out, I dehydrated… I’ve had amazing salads, smoothies, sauces, and more)
As a result of my experience last year, I have decided to pull in my belt “now” and go ahead and get a full CSA share for myself. It ends up being cheaper for me (@ $500 for 7 months worth of organic vegetables, where each week’s delivery will last at least most of the week – and sometimes wind up in the dehydrator for later– works out to less than $100/mo for organic vegetables)
I’m getting a full vegetable share this year (last year, ofttimes I wanted to keep the whole share, and sometimes, I was challenged to find out what to do with what I got. Nevertheless, it was all raw food, so it challenged me = my commitment, going in, was to use everything, some way.)
If you are a raw foodist, joining a CSA will bring a lot of vegetables into your life. It may bring new things that you have never considered to your table. (My advice, if you get something you are not familiar with, is to google it: find some raw recipes, if they are there, or else, come and ask me -been there, done that)