I've always wanted to join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) because I believe it's important to support local farmers (who aren't at the beck-and-call of the food industry) and get more fresh, in-season vegetables into our diet. However, there are some stumbling blocks along our path to actually signing up for a CSA. The first issue is price. There is a local farm nearby that provides a Veggie Box and CSA program. It costs $25 a week for a 25-30-pound box of vegetables. (Another roadblock is the pick-up times: Wednesdays between 12 and 7pm or by appointment any day BUT Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Oh... that's not helpful at all to us.) $25 a week doesn't seem that expensive, but you have to participate every week, so the total cost ends up being about $450-$550 through the harvest season. That's kind of a lot of money.
Especially considering (and this is another roadblock) I don't like most vegetables. Sure I eat carrots and broccoli (raw, never cooked - yuck!) and I like tomato sauce (just not tomatoes), but what the heck am I going to do with eggplant, squash, beets, and leek? Nor do I have the time to play experimental chef in the kitchen. When I get home at 7:00, I want to eat dinner. NOW. It's just easier for us on weeknights to stick with the easy staples, the stuff we know takes little time to prep and cook, the stuff we know my husband can make himself. I would hate to spend all that money on vegetables that will probably just end up going to waste every week. (Doesn't 25-30 pounds of veggies sound like a lot for only two people?)
What I really want to do is buy my meat from local farmers, instead of buying it at the grocery store through factory farms that pump their cows, chickens, and pigs with antibiotics and corn. But I have yet to find a local farm that provides meat. And I'm sure it would be crazy expensive, anyway.
I did find a local farm that sells gluten-free ravioli, among other amazing gluten-free items. We're going to have to try that out!
Do you belong to a CSA or have you ever belonged? What do you like about it? What do you dislike about it? What are some recipes you've made using the vegetables from your CSA box?