Friday, November 16th, 2018

The Best Way to Get Cheap, Local, Organic Produce

Published on April 23, 2010 by   ·   6 Comments Pin It

The next best/cheapest thing to growing your own organic produce is to buy a share in a local farm. Sound complicated? Not at all now that CSA programs are sprouting up all over.

Here’s how it works:

You pay for produce up front in the winter or spring to help the farmer plant and grow the food and then partake of its bounty during summer and fall. Depending on how the CSA is set up, your produce will either be delivered to your door or you pick up the produce every week at a central location near you.

csa pick-up

Just a few advantages of joining a CSA:

* It’s recession-proof. If you break down the cost, it usually comes out to $18-$22 per week for more fresh, organic veggies than you know what to do with. Cutting out the packager and/or retailer saves $$$.

*   You can share your CSA share with a friend or neighbor, and it costs only $9-$11 per week. My hubby and I have only ever shared shares, and it’s definitely enough for us.

* Since you’re given what’s been harvested that week, you eat seasonally.

* You will impress your friends with the cool-sounding ingredients you’re working with: “Yes, I’m making a mizuna salad with rat-tail radishes, garlic scapes, and a Thai basil-lemon dressing.”

* You can visit the farm and talk to the farmer…or just take pictures of broccoli like I did. :-)

csa broccoli

* You get a serious boost in green street cred when you can brag about owning a share in a local, organic farm.


1.) Find one near you using LocalHarvest’s CSA locator.

2.) New Yorkers can use Just Food’s CSA locator.

Better do it now since demand is skyrocketing, and programs are filling up fast!

via Marisa Miller-Wolfson at

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Readers Comments (6)

  1. rubyathena says:

    Awesome idea!

  2. Cathy says:

    I’ve been thinking about joining a CSA for a while & your blog post was what finally convinced me to commit. The hardest part is that we have so many awesome local farms, it’s difficult to choose. Though I just made my selection and currently in the process of filling out my application. Thanks for the push!

  3. Vegan Betty says:

    I joined one in Los Angeles here: and it’s amazing. You don’t pay up front, you pay per week. I pay $15 per box and using the green produce bags so they don’t rot, mine lasts two weeks. That’s a bargain! It forces me to make amazing foods like raw soups and lots of salads (yum raw kale salad!)

  4. Melissa says:

    CSAs are the best way to circumvent the industrial food system and give small-scale sustainable farmers the support system they need (and which the government doesn’t provide for small-scale organic farmers, unlike commodity corn farmers). Also, they’re really fun and you will meet kind and interesting people. For popular CSAs, you typicaly have to sign up earlier in the season. It’s not too late, though! Call up the farmer and ask to be put on a waiting list or cancellation list.

  5. Ecover Blog says:

    Absolutely … a CSA is the way to go! I’ve been in one for several years and just love the vegetables as well as the fact that it inspires me to try new recipes. (Your blog is great and we’ve added it to Ecover’s blogroll.)
    -Deb for Ecover

  6. Audrey M says:

    Thx a zillion for posting this info. I really needed it.

    My husband and I recently drove across the states, exploring the various landscapes of our country. He grew up on a farm in Illinios so he was able to point out the many agricultural ventures as we drove state to state.
    He also scared me because he says after this recession gas prices will skyrocket and not many people will drive across country OR truck our produce to us.

    So I really want to invest in our local farmers since they will be our main source.
    Hopefully this info u provided us will help grow the biz of these wonderful organic / local farmers.

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