Sunday, October 2, 2011

CSA: A review of a summer of farm- fresh produce

Yesterday was the first CSA-free Saturday since a summer chock full of fresh fruits and vegetables began (with the exception of the sad, post-Irene Saturdays). So I figured today was a good day to review a summer of deliciousness before my fall/winter shares start up.

From week one... the final week...

...the experience has been a mix of emotions, running the gamut from giddy to guilty to grateful. The first week's delivery of berries was a great kick off and left me excited for the coming weeks. Somewhere in the middle, after trashing almost every single item in a delivery, I was left feeling guilty and more annoyed that I had months left before I wouldn't have to worry about cooking all this food. By the end, I was so happy to get deliveries after a week of nothing that it finally hit me that this had been a great experience. I've made some great food along the way, too. From chocolate zucchini cake to corn chowder to roasted eggplant and caramelized onion pizza, we've definitely ate well this summer. And more than that, we've ate well without spending a ton of money. So here comes the moment of truth. You know, the one where I share that pesky price breakdown that proves how awesome the CSA is.

Price Breakdown

Note: I priced my veggies by using the Harris Teeter Express Lane website, which allows you to shop for your groceries online. Whenever possible, I used the organic options, since my CSA follows organic practices.

All in all, I think the verdict is the same that I thought it would be way back at the beginning, when I assumed I'd get a lot of better quality veggies for cheaper if I signed up for a CSA. The only downsides were my failing, simply that I sometimes didn't have enough time to cook all that amazing food. I can't imagine what I would have done had I purchased a full delivery instead of the half deliveries. Hopefully, when I get to enjoy my fall/winter encore in a month I'll do better.