A record of the activities, quirks and issues that are Boulder Belt Eco-Farm of Eaton, Ohio
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Buy Into a Farm- Join a CSA
Save cash and eat well: Buy into a farm
Eating healthy doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, it can also be fun and educational.
Everyone knows eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you -- the new Department of Agriculture, or USDA, food pyramid encourages it more than ever before -- but paying for all that produce can be costly.
Government studies show a family of four typically spends more than $850 on fruits and vegetables annually. And if you're trying to meet USDA nutrition guidelines or are buying organic, that number is likely to be much higher.
What's a shopper to do? After all, there aren't many places to buy produce -- either at the local supermarket or take a short drive to a farmer's market, right? Actually, however, there is a third -- and usually less-expensive -- option: a nearby community-supported agriculture, or CSA, farm.
CSA farms sell "shares" of the crop -- anywhere from six to more than 1,000 shares per farm -- which entitle you to an agreed-upon amount of whatever the farm produces through the growing season. It also gives the small farmer operating capital for the year's production. Every week during the growing season, typically 15 to 30 weeks, depending on the location, members receive a box or basket filled with the week's harvest of fruits and vegetables. The weekly share may also include items such as flowers, milk, eggs, honey and herbs.
Prices vary significantly. Starting at $300 per share and topping out at more than $1,000, the fee is usually paid in advance of the growing season. Each share is typically enough to feed a family of four, though half shares are sometimes available. Each farm has different options, so you'll want to check to make sure the food you get will be enough -- and not too much. Some offer different prices depending on whether the produce is delivered to your home, picked up at a central location or picked up at the farm itself. Some CSA farmers offer monthly payments.... read the rest here.
As an aside Boulder belt has a CSA program that serves SW Ohio/EC Indiana. And we charge by the week, the month or the season-we are just THAT flexable. More info here