Thursday, February 5, 2009

Going Organic

I feel comfortable to say that 2008 was the year of "Going Green", it became trendy and popular. Everywhere you turned everyone was talking about conservation and companies jumped on the band wagon. In addition to the "Going Green" trend, the market was flooded with the “organic” label. And with the fancy title of organic fruits and veggies doubled in price. I’m sure you’ve all read about the benefits and touts of how great organically grown items from fruit to open range meat so I will spare you. However since the economy is tumbling down most can’t afford to splurge on these new luxury items, and in turn many local farmers are having hardships. There is a solution and behold the CSA also known as “Community Supported Agriculture”. CSA’s are a great advantage to the community and yourself. For cheaper than you’d pay at the supermarket, you can get a bushel full of fresh, organic produce delivered or available for convenient pickup. And you’re helping out another family farm! What better satisfaction is there knowing that you’re helping to sustain a family’s livelihood.

Now I understand that sometimes the subscriptions/membership can seem steep, however I have found that if you are willing to put a little “sweat equity” into the farm they are more than willing to drop the price or work out a labor for food system. After all, these families would have to pay others to help harvest their crops otherwise.This barter system is what I have set up for my family this year, and I’m so excited. I come from a family of farmers/ranchers and am eager to get back out in the country and do a little work. The CSA that I am working with will be a one-stop shop will produce, fresh honey, open range poultry, pigs and cattle (Top Texas beef). So not only will we get these great fruits of our labor, my lil monster will have the fun experience of farm life once a week. I’m waiting for the picture perfect photo of him chasing those chickens, hehe.In addition to the CSA that I’m working with, I have found a Fruit Farm. And like the CSA Farm, this fruit farm needs helpers. So I will be working with them to help care for the peach trees and come berry season my lil monster can come get his fill on fresh peaches and berries of all kinds.

Now for the savings portion. By working together with these CSA’s I imagine that I will be saving at least $1000 in produce expenses alone. I’m looking forward to filling my pantry with preserves, jams and pickled items and saving on these items as well. Of course one could argue that time is money and though I might be saving money in my pocketbook, my hourly worth is much more than the benefits of produce. I am looking at it another way, this time will be quality time spent in a somewhat charitable contribution to my family and my community. And best of all it is time that we will be working together. And a family that does things together, stays together.

To find you own local CSA to get involved with or just become a member of one check out these links.

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