In my last post on my CSA, I talked about why I wanted to join a CSA – now here’s the what and how!
I’m pleased to announce I’ve signed up for a CSA with Growing Washington. In a way, they’re not a pure CSA as described on the first page, but I think they’ll be a really great place to get started. Growing Washington is a non-profit organization whose mission is:
Growing Washington strives to continuously enrich and improve the lives of all Washingtonians by empowering communities to work together toward mutual goals and by strengthening the sense of connectedness between individuals and between diverse groups. Growing Washington focuses on four program areas to fulfill this mission: Sustainable Agriculture Program, Environmental and Cultural Preservation Program, Economic and Societal Health Program, and Doing the Right Thing. From the Growing Washington Website.
One of the things they do is organize a CSA which connects people with a network of local, chemical free farmers in the area, rather than a single farm. This strengthens our community, provides greater variety for the boxes, and allows them to offer more scaleable options. With the Growing Washington CSA, we were able to choose from 4 different sizes designed to feed between 1-6 with between 6-15 different types of items each week. We also had the choice between the full (25-week) and regular (20-week) season AND the choice of style. We chose the “Farmer’s Choice” box, which is more like a traditional CSA in that the boxes are filled by the farmer’s based on what is most in season and wonderful that week, but we could have chosen the “Local Choice” box and actually chosen all our items each week – although still limited by seasonality. We decided to start with the smallest Farmer’s Choice box as a way to test out the CSA with a more modest investment. We figure next year we can go bigger and/or switch the type of choice we have depending on how this year goes.
Based on all of this, I’d had my eye on the CSA for quite some time. But there was not a nearby drop-off place, and our condo doesn’t have a good place we could use to volunteer to be a drop-off. Imagine my excitement to log onto their website this spring and find that a store just around the block from us is now going to be a drop-site AND we’ll be able to pick up our box between 12-9 every week.
One of my regular features throughout the year will be the CSA un-boxing on our Thursday pick-up day and then a round-up of ways we used (or failed to use!) the veggies that week.