Exploring Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Eating local and practicing sustainability in Oregon has always been at the forefront of their residents.  Organics/whole food groceries and small family farm has bloomed dramatically, particularly in the Eugene/Springfield township that I lived in thanks to the local demand. Farmers market has turned into the hot spots for the locals to hang out and enjoy the local produces/fruits, dairy and pasture during the peak growing season.

I love shopping at farmers market compared to patronizing whole foods stores because I know I’m supporting local business. I enjoyed going to Whole Foods, Market of Choice or Trader’s Joe don’t get me wrong, but their items are overpriced as it is and the items may be organic but it doesn’t necessarily is local. Eating healthy sometimes can be very expensive if you didn’t plan ahead.

So it’s time to go back to basic: eating seasonal and local foods. Foods that are the closest to our home tends to be a little bit environmental friendly as well, therefore, choosing local farmer’s market or joining a community supported agriculture (CSA) makes more sense to me. Since I don’t have the green thumb to grow my own food (friends have laughed at me for this since anything grows in Oregon’s ground), I’ve decided to join CSA to try it out instead. To my surprised, just in our county alone, there’s more than 50 farms that provides CSA services, choosing one definitely is not easy.

I’ve decided to join Food for Lane County youth farm because I liked their objectives to teach limited income teenager about food/nutrition, helping them gain skills about leadership and teamwork. Another plus for joining the youth farm for me was convenience of picking up my own CSA shares right at my work place. Most CSA has full share (feeding 3-4 people), and half shares (feed 2 people) available through the season.

The total half-share for 20 weeks cost me $350, averaging out to be $17.50 per week. Really not a bad deal for fresh, local produce. After two weeks of picking up my CSA box, I noticed that I have minimal waste on  the veggies compared to before that I’ve always had some wilted veggies in my fridge waiting for me to throw away.  It also forces me to be creative in making dishes with those items as well.

If you wanted to learn more about CSA, visit  “IFOAM organic international” website to explore what’s available in your area (North America, Japan and Europe).

2016-06-09-15-30-18
Week 1 Bag: Strawberries, beets, garlic, carrots, lettuce, broccoli, Italian kale.

Menu Created for Week 1: 

  •  Steamed Carrots with Butter
  • Strawberries Lemonade
  • Roasted Beets
  • Sautéed Beets Greens with Garlic
  • Lettuce Wraps
  • Steamed Broccoli
  • Sautéed Kale with Chicken
2016-06-16-17-14-11
Week 2 Bag: Strawberries, Bok Choy, Italian Kale, Broccoli, Zucchini, Carrots, Green Onions

Menu Created for Week 2:

  • Strawberries Greek Yogurt Popsicle
  • Beef with Bok Choy
  • Roasted Kale
  • Broccoli & Tofu Stir Fry
  • Roasted Carrots
  • Zucchini & Carrots Soup
  • Garlic & Scallions Chicken

This is quite fun and I will continue to share my weekly finding and what menu item that I come up with. Hope you all can start exploring your local CSA and share your experience with me !

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