Our CSA (Alternative)

I love the idea of a CSA ("Community Supported Agriculture") box - a farm subscription for a season that provides us with fresh and local produce while at the same time gives a farm a reliable source of income.  Seriously - I love it.

Kale buds: yummy on salads.  Also, very random.
But we've never done a CSA before.  Instead, we came up with an idea last summer that works for us.  I like to think of it as my CSAlternative.  A bonus is that we have a little more autonomy over what we get each week, and we don't have to shell out hundreds of dollars up front for things we may or may not really want.

We take $20 per week out of our grocery budget and put it in a farmer's market budget.  (I literally do this with cash ... I find that I like the more tangible presence or absence of cash when it comes to budgeting).  Every weekend, we go to our little market and make ourselves spend our money.  To be quite honest, it was a little tough at first ... $4 for a head of lettuce made me want to shriek in agony.  But we made ourselves get on board with spending our cash - because, after all, it is farmer's market money ... just a few dollars here and there throughout the market, until we were out of money and had a few new things to try.

It definitely doesn't get us through the whole week, or let us try everything we might see.  But it does make it possible for us to be consistent at a farmer's market on a pretty tight food budget.  And $20 is pretty do-able, right?

It's worked out nicely that if we travel, we can just try a different farmer's market.  In the winter, we spent our market cash on other local goodies (or hot chocolate from the cafe near the market).

It's just a little thing, but it's worked for us.  Maybe one day we'll venture into joining a real CSA, but for now we're satisfied with our alternative.

1 comment:

  1. Some farmers markets are more expensive than others, and it depends what is in season and whether it's organic or not. The Hartford regional market has good deals but you have to catch things when thy are in season and go very early Saturday morning.