Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Should You Join a Community-Supported Farm?

One of the easiest and healthiest ways to go green is to get your produce locally. Last year, my family had the privilege of joining a local, community-support farm, Catalpa Ridge, and we just received the information to join again this season. As first timers, I have to say that it was a wonderful experience and I highly recommend it. You can find local farmers by visiting www.localharvest.org. There a numerous benefits:

1) Locally grown, organic food -- You can actually taste the difference between a locally grown tomato or peach versus one that may have been imported from another distant location. There's no artificial, chemically taste, just pure, natural fruit and vegetables.

2) Convenience -- The Catalpa Ridge produce is delivered to a local temple each week from June through October, which is conveniently just a quarter of a mile from our home. We could even walk to pick up our fruits and veggies, making membership even greener!

3) Cost -- Now you may automatically assume that buying into a share of a local farm's harvest would be an expensive endeavor. That's not necessarily true. From the first week of June through the last week of October, you receive 5-7 pounds of produce. Last year it cost $500 to buy a share. This year it's increased to $525 if you register early ($575 if you don't). The increase is due to what else -- the current economic conditions, which have increased the costs of fertilizer and other necessities to keep the farm running. All in all, it's approx. $26.25 per week, which comes out to $3.75-$5.25 per pound of fresh, local food. Does it get any greener than that?

4) Variety -- Also known as the spice of life, one of the best parts of joining Catalpa Ridge is the variety of greens, spices and other food that we never would've tried. Everything from butternut squash and green tomatoes to elephant garlic and white peaches. It was really fun to try different greens, including collard greens, mustard greens and endive. We even invested in a Food Saver this year to make sure we use every last piece of produce.

If you don't have the space (or the green thumb) to grow your own produce, this is definitely the next best thing. Stay tuned for more updates!


  1. I think this is a great idea. I'm very nervous about what they spray on produce at the supermarket

  2. Great minds think alike. Thank you for coming to my blog. I was excited to find your's. We seem to be a lot alike.
    Luckily I am able to have my own garden. It makes a world of difference growing your own vegetables and fruits. People are amazed at how my son eats and it's,in part, because of my garden.
    Keep up the good blog.