Good morning! Even though it’s Tuesday, my most hated day of the week, I am actually in quite the cheerful mood this morning. I managed to get up like 10 minutes early, so I feel like I have all of this extra time! It’s amazing how that happens!
So today, I have something totally different for you, because it’s something TOTALLY different for me!
For the last year or so, I’ve seen a lot of bloggers and friends get involved with CSAs. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the CSA concept, CSA stands for Community Support Agriculture.
Wikipedia defines a CSA as “ an alternative, locally-based economic model of agriculture and food distribution. A CSA also refers to a particular network or association of individuals who have pledged to support one or more local farms, with growers and consumers sharing the risks and benefits of food production. CSA members or subscribers pay at the onset of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest; once harvesting begins, they receive weekly shares of vegetables and fruit, in a vegetable box scheme. Many CSAs also sometimes include herbs, cut flowers, honey, eggs, dairy products and meat.”
So essentially, you pay for a subscription, and receive a box of local produce or other products each week/bi-weekly.
I’ve been seeing these around everywhere, and have really wanted to get involved, but have always been afraid of the cost and commitment. Chris isn’t a HUGE veggie eater (I mean, let’s be real, he would barely touch vegetables before I met him), so I was always afraid that I’d pay all this money and food would end up going to waste. And as a total cheapo, that kept me from signing up every season.
Then my best friend told me about Relay Foods (<—affiliate link, FYI) , which just opened up a drop location in Fredericksburg!
Essentially Relay Foods is an online grocery store that caries a ton of local, seasonal, or organic groceries. They have everything ranging from fruits and veggies to meats and cheeses, to fresh pastas, sauces and nut butters. I will admit that their website is a LITTLE overwhelming at first, because I just want to buy EVERYTHING!
What is even better about them is that there is no commitment. You can order what you want, as you want it, or you can order one of their already put-together CSA boxes. But if you don’t want to get one weekly, you always have the option of skipping or just not purchasing one. They also provide a discount for those that DO purchase consecutively.
(Please note, I’m in no way being compensated by Relay Foods for this post. I’m just SUPER excited that they came to Fredericksburg and I can enjoy their awesome program!)
ANYWAY, the focus of this post is the fact that I got my first ever CSA box, and I’m extremely pumped about it!
Seriously, even though I already basically knew what I was getting, it was still like opening presents on Christmas morning!
What’s in the bag???
All together now:
For my first local CSA, I got the following produce (taken from the Relay Foods website)
- Harvest Time Farm Local Pie Pumpkin (1)
- Heartland Harvest Farm Assorted Potatoes (3)
- Radical Roots Head Lettuce (1)
- Kirby Farms Sweet Potatoes (3)
- Baywater Greens Spring Mix (1)
- Critzer Family Farm Green Bell Peppers (3)
- Saunders Brothers Orchard Local Asian Pear (3)
- Perryhill Produce Greens (1)
- Saunders Brothers Orchard Local Apples (4)
- Twin Oaks Local Winter Squash (1)
So many fun things!!!
Now I just have to figure out what to do with it all! I have a few plans so far…
- Chris has requested Pear sauce/butter with the 3 pears. His family is from GA and grew pear trees in their yard, so he grew up on the stuff.
- Lettuce/Spring Mix/Greens for salads and sandwiches this week
I need to find some fun things to do with the potatoes, because my go-to is always roasting them. And something for the butternut squash. I’ll be honest and say that while I’ve eaten it a ton, I’ve never actually cooked with it before. Any suggestions?
Overall, I’m super impressed by Relay Foods so far. My coworker picked up some stuff to (she did more of a hodgepodge of stuff instead of a CSA box), and got a ton of stuff for a really good deal! If you’re in the neighborhood for a low commitment CSA or just as a way to try out some new, fun foods, I would totally recommend checking it out!
So tell me: Have you every participated in a CSA? Do you have another way of getting local produce (farmers market, butcher, etc)?