I do feel like I’ve accomplished our goal: documenting our CSA veg adventures for future meal planning and using the veggies to their best potential (let’s just not mention those poor green beans, shall we?) Aside from accumulating yummy recipes, we’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way...Subscribing to a CSA:
Reduced our overall food budget
This seems counterintuitive when writing that big fat check at the beginning of the CSA season, but we really did spend less on groceries this year. I planned our weekly meals around our CSA contents and rarely needed to buy extra veggies (we did supplement with our own garden harvest, however). So, our farmer’s market spending dropped as did our regular grocery shopping (due to meal planning). Plus, if I get all geeky and factor in the nutrient per dollar ratio on organic, local CSA veggies versus industrially farmed veggies, our food dollar becomes even more valuable…but I won’t bore you with those details :-)
Kept us cooking/eating at home
Having fresh veggies at home provided incentive to cook more meals--not just to reduce waste but also because the flavor and quality of the food we could eat at home far surpassed that of a restaurant or pre-cooked/processed food.
Introduced us to a variety of veggies we wouldn’t normally eat
This is obvious but for us was the most valuable part of subscribing to a CSA. Our kids love veggies because they actually taste good (Holden asked for chard for his half birthday dinner; Esme would eat raw garlic by the clove if I let her!)
Introduced meal variety into our lives
Eating different meals each week was a novel concept pre-CSA, but I’ve happily managed to kick the ‘food rut’ we’d been stuck in for so long. I used to cook about 7 or 8 different main dishes and move them around to different nights, occasionally trying something new, but not often enough. And when we got itchy for a change? Breakfast for dinner was my answer. But now with CSA veggies dictating our meals, I’m
Introduced the kids to the merits of locally, sustainably grown organic produce
Our weekly bin contents spark many a question and subsequent conversation, including who, when, how, where and most importantly, why we get our veggies from this funny blue bin each week. I love exploring the answers to these questions with the kids and know that the answers we find make more sense when our actions support our words.
Prompted us to question everything we eat and change the way we shop in general
Or more accurately, who/what we support with our non-veggie and even non-food dollars. Our CSA experience has been a springboard for change in our consumerism habits. But more about this in another post, I’m afraid I’ve bent your ear long enough!
Thanks for following along and supporting us in our CSA adventure this season. And if you happen to live in Portland, I could bend your ear a whole lot more about our happiness with Groundwork Organics!