Tuesday, June 26, 2007

An affordable way to buy Organic

Since I have gone back to get my Master's in Holistic Health and Nutrition Education I have become even more determined to only buy organic foods. I have always grown an organic garden and preserved my extras for winter - but it's not enough. I would buy organic when convienent, but if it wasn't there - I thought fresh fruit was still best. I can't believe I was so naive - the stuff I'm learning about how many pesticides are put on these plants - and how deep it penetrates - you cannot wash it off - scary.

Anyway I have started buying all organic and my grocery bill has really gone up - even with the garden right now. So I had to do a paper for school on where to buy organic in my area - a tool for my professional toolbox that I will use with clients. As I was researching this, I stumbled across CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture). I had heard of CSA's before but for some crazy reason thought they were only out in CA. Well - there are a ton of them right here in my area - and some still have openings for this year.

What you do is buy a share of the harvest and get weekly deliveries. Most of them have several delivery spots around the metro area - some deliver right to your door - and some you have to drive out to the farm to pick up. Some have financial assistance if you can't afford it and some will let you trade some labor for part of the cost. Many of them have activities on the farm that you can come to.

And some of them offer eggs and meat - and I even found one that offers baked goods - including some that are gluten free and casien free.

The costs of the ones I looked into appeared to run right around $500 for a box big enough for 2 adults and 1 small child. The number of weeks they deliver is between 16 and 22 (this is only based on the ones I found). That's like $28 a week.

Anyway - I thought I would share the idea in case there were others out there like me who want to buy organic but wish it were more affordable. Here is a link to a website where you can put in your zip or state and see what's in your area: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

Even if they are all full in your area for this year - you might want to investigate them and get on a list for next year.

I'm going to put all of the ones for my area in a spreadsheet so my future clients can compare based on what works best for their family.

Hope that helps someone!

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