Adventures in CSA (week 8): The Final Tally

First off, I have to apologize for the delay. I had planned to post this last week, and then NATURE happened in a big, bad way and that threw off just about everything. For, though it was only late October, Mother Nature decided that it was high time we had a nor’easter all up in this joint. We lost power, and with the power went the heat. We could have dealt easily without the power, but the heat was an issue when the temps were forecasted to dip into the teens (F) overnight. We managed a night in the house like that, and then the next night we spent at a friend’s house. Thankfully, our power was out for only 48hrs, but it was enough to throw everything into disarray and the rest of the week was all about trying to get things back on track.

Second, the winter CSA has begun. In what I think is a bit of a bungle in timing, the final Fall veggie box was delivered on a Friday (October 28) and the first Winter veggie box was delivered the following Tuesday (November 1). Given that the weekend was a complete mess from the storm, all the veggies from the first box were still in the house when the veggies from the second box arrived. AUGH!! Thankfully, the CSA-powers-that-be decided to make the Winter share an every-other-week deal, so we have a brief respite until we get inundated with produce again.

Third, the final tally (and the results for the final Fall veggie box) can be found below. We did come in under this week, and my guess is that this is partially due to the more mundane contents (carrots, garlic, etc.) and partially due to the inability to find a perfect comparable for the purple potatoes (which they just don’t carry in my store). I’d be surprised if they went for the same price as the red potatoes – the closest equivalent – but I don’t know that the price difference would make up the gap, either.

Week 8 CSA
Weight (lb) Grocery Store Unit Price
(per lb)
Grocery Store Total Item Cost
Buttercup Squash 2.87 $0.99 $2.84
Cranberries 0.54 $3.99 $2.15
Yellow Onions 1.09 $1.49 $1.62
Carrots 1.30 $0.99 $1.28
Parsnips 1.16 $2.49 $2.88
Empire Apples 2.21 $1.59 $3.52
Purple Potatoes* 0.88 $1.49 $1.32
Cabbage 3.21 $0.50 $1.61
Garlic 0.08 $2.99 $0.23
Rainbow Chard 0.38 $2.99 $1.12
Grocery Store Total Cost $18.56
Week 8 Savings (Deficit) ($1.44)
Program-to-Date Savings (Deficit) $18.95
* Items were not available; closest equivalent was used.

Some final thoughts about the Fall CSA:

1) It basically worked out to 8 veggie boxes for the price of 7. That’s not a bad deal. Since I went into this program to experiment with price, as well as variety/quality, this is an important thing for me to see.

2) We definitely branched out and tried new things; we also picked up some new favorites (like Bok-os). Again, this is hitting on one of my stated goals/desired outcomes.

3) There’s a downside to the CSA: what do you do when you get stuff you don’t like and/or stuff that you already have overflowing in your house? I’m still working on finding a new home for the parsnips, since it’s now fairly clear that I’m the only one who likes them (but they don’t appear to get along well with my stomach). On the other side of that coin, our fridge is overrun with apples, since we went apple picking AND we’ve gotten apples in every box throughout the entire run of the Fall CSA. I’d say that we could make apple crisp with them, but we’ve got leftover birthday cake in the house from dd’s kiddo party and we’re gearing up to make yet another cake because her family party is this coming weekend. I know, I know, first-world problem to be sure. BUT, a fridge full of apples is also one where you can’t store other things. Like more cake.

I already knew the upsides: getting us to eat more fresh produce, incorporating new foods, branching out our cooking…and all of that has happened. Would I do it again? Most definitely. I’m not yet sure about the Winter share; we’ll have to see how the next eight weeks goes. I predict I’ll be trying to find a lot of ways to use winter squash…

2 thoughts on “Adventures in CSA (week 8): The Final Tally

  1. Yeah, parsnips are a problem; I love them, but I have the same stomach issues with them you do. One nice solution is the way my winter CSA handles things — they have a “share bin” where you can toss veggies you don’t want and pick up more of what you do (assuming someone else has tossed them first). Otherwise, you’re stuck with them as compost.

    For the apples, try apple butter. I made this recipe yesterday, and it’s great. Note that there’s a pretty critical mistake in the recipe as written: it should be 3lbs. of chopped apples, not 3lbs. of apples, chopped. If you do the latter instead of the former, as I did, use only half the amount of sugar and spices called for.

  2. Pingback: Adventures in CSA (winter week 1): Baby it’s cold outside « CrunchyMetroMom

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