A few times over the winter season, our church hosts the community farmer's market. Last time our church hosted, Micah and I spent some time at a booth offering a CSA share. We hemmed and hawed about whether to join - we decided to wait. CSA stands for community supported agriculture. A CSA works like this - "a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season." This is a great way to get local, organic, fresh produce every week. There are some down sides to partaking in a CSA share. The produce tends to be a little expensive and when invested in a CSA you're taking a risk that the produce your farm makes doesn't turn out.
After researching all the CSA's available in the Chicago area, we decided on Farmer Tom's CSA (http://www.farmertomscsa.com/). Unlike most CSA's, Tom's requires only a small membership fee and then weekly payments when you pick up your produce. It's offered year round (organic goodies are brought in during the winter months). And the pick-up location is only a 5 minute drive from our home.
Last week was our first week getting produce from Tom's. We got quite a variety of produce:
Gator Skin Russet Potatoes
Green Leaf Lettuce
Beauregard Sweet Potatoes
Purple Top Turnips
Pink Lady Apples
It was all perfectly ripe and fresh. Lauren wasn't sure what to do with a few of the ingredients (collard greens?!?). This week, however, we ate a lot more vegetables in our diet than normal.
Out of curiosity, Lauren took a pen and pad to the local Jewel-Osco (equivalent to a CUB Foods for your Minnesotans) and wrote down all the non-organic prices of the same produce we got from Farmer Tom. Jewel actually turned out to be a few dollars more expensive than what we got from the CSA!!! So, since the food we're getting is organic we are getting quite a (yummy) deal!