Farmers Market or CSA?

Sorry for my absence, but I did promise you not to make this blog about my wedding.  Unfortunately, planning for the big day (and weekend), work and other personal matters have taken up far more time than I realized.  But don’t worry, I’m not giving this up entirely- I just took a little pause from writing.  Quality over quantity has always been more important at EDA, and I wasn’t about to post just for the sake of posting.  But today I felt I had something worth sharing and am interested in hearing your thoughts.

There's Nothing Like Jersey Fresh Produce!

There’s Nothing Like Jersey Fresh Produce!

About this time of year, I typically remind readers to join their local CSA (community supported agriculture in case you still don’t know what that acronym means).  But this summer, I’ve decided not to do one.  Here’s why:

Last season, the organic farm my CSA supports, Hepworth, didn’t do such a great job.  Instead of getting decent and varied produce, they chose to sell the best to Fairway, a local market turned public company that recently filed for bankruptcy.  (Sometimes bigger isn’t better it seems.)  So we ended up with a ton of eggplant, corn and peppers each week, while the supermarket got the nice tomatoes.  I had wanted to support a smaller farm and ultimately that’s not what was happening.  Plus, it got to be that I was buying more vegetables at the supermarket each week (and not the Sunday Farmers Market because the CSA pickup was on Tuesday) than I was getting and using from my CSA.  I wasn’t the only one who acknowledged the problem.  The organizers of the CSA had a frank discussion with Hepworth and have assured us that this year will be different.  But they also increased the price, and I made the decision to take a year off and see what happens (we also happen to be going on our honeymoon and away a good amount this summer, so buying what we need when we need it made more sense this summer).  So I will miss the challenges of what to do in the weeks I received celeriac, beets, radishes and bitter melon that I typically would not otherwise buy.  But instead, I am challenging myself to try some different vegetables and buy more local fruit.

I’m also going to be supporting farmers that don’t sell to conglomerates, which makes me feel better of where my money goes.

Now, I’m not advocating that everyone should stop doing a CSA- just do some more research and make sure that the ideals you’re trying to uphold are actually the goals of the CSA you choose.  It might not be clear at first, but ask.  Most people will gladly tell you as much about the farm you’re supporting as they can.  And a number of farms encourage you to visit.

Let EDA know if you’re planning on supporting a CSA, farmers market or are lucky enough to grow your own vegetables.  As long as you commit to eating fresh, local produce, you can’t go wrong no matter which you choose.

Looking forward to a summer’s worth of bounty!

-Kara

 

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