We’re constantly trying to be better about our eating over here. Some of it is that we’re trying to set a good example for the kiddos, and some of it is because we really truly would like to be eating better for ourselves. It’s hard trying to keep up with all of the standards – square meals, er food pyramids, er MyPlate…and what was acceptable back when we were kids is now discarded and debunked as neanderthal in design.
For years, we’ve been wanting to get into a CSA or some other form of deal where we can get fresh fruits and veggies direct from local farms – kinda sorta because it’s helping us eat better but also because it’s fresher, supports local business, and is more environmentally friendly. The locavore lifestyle takes a lot more work than we feel we have, but a CSA should be manageable, right? Work is currently offering a deal with a local farm co-op to have CSA veggie boxes delivered to work every Friday, starting September 9th, where the fruit & veggie contents come from local farms in a short radius from the office.
So, here’s where the potential barriers come in:
- What if we don’t like something? Hrm. Guess we’ll have to take that one as it comes. I’m willing to try any fruit or veggie at least once, but some things I’ve truly given up on after numerous failed attempts. (Sorry, broccoli…I just can’t stand you. It’s not you, it’s me.)
- How do we manage to eat it all before it goes bad? Planning. It’s all about meal planning. CSAs are a bit like opening presents on Christmas Day if you didn’t make a list; you have a general idea that it may be something you like or want, but you’re never quite sure until you open the box. As we say so often in our household: “We will figure something out.”
- But it’s EXPENSIVE…Well, maybe not. Some of the CSAs I’ve looked at are more expensive, but the one I just joined is $160 for 8 weeks (and really, $20 for a box of fresh fruits and veggies may be a good deal). The flavor of locally grown veggies that are fresh off the farm is different from the stuff trucked in from who-knows-where, so that alone may justify the price difference. Also, the box deal we’re getting on is supposed to be sized for 1-2 people if that’s ALL that you eat in a week, or 3-4 people if you have other things with the box’s contents.
And this brings me to my personal challenge for the next 8 weeks, starting next week: find a way to use those boxes to their fullest. Get everyone in the household hooked on it, so that we’ll easily be able to justify continuing it throughout the year (or at least whenever it’s offered). We already frequent the local farmstand whenever we can, especially when they have fresh strawberries, corn and cherry tomatoes. While DH crows about their strawberries, the entire house is in love with their super-sweet corn, and their cherry tomatoes are like small candies in red, yellow, orange and purple. HEAVEN in a carton.
Hopefully, I’ll end this experiment by declaring the CSA one of the best inventions of our time AND extolling the virtue of some new ways that I’ve found to put these things together to make tastiness that an entire family can get behind. Stay tuned…