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CSA Value Assessment

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I didn’t post my savings until I got some updated numbers from local markets and vendors. Week Ten CSA was delivered Thursday. It looked like this

Sandy Spring CSA Delivery Week Ten

and I wrote about it here.

With this week’s savings, of $9.65 over weekly cost of $29.75, I am now $89.80 ahead in total for being 40% through the 25 week season. If anyone doubts the value of joining an organic CSA, they just need to look at what organic foods cost in stores, markets and at farm stands.

The breakout from week ten is this:

Corn, 5 ears, 50 cents an ear, $2.50
Carrots, $3.50 a bunch for heirloom varieties
Fennel $1.69 each for 2 of them, rounded to $3.40
Pickling cukes, white variety, a bargain at 2/$1, there were 8 of them, so $4
Slicing cukes, 3 large ones, $4.50 total
Garlic, two heads, $2 each at market, so $4 total
Heirloom red radishes, $2.50 a bunch
Blue Viking potatoes, 3 lbs at $1.50 a pound, $4.50
Zucchini, one very large, over a pound, so $2
Green beans and Rattlesnake beans, $3 each basket, so $6 total
Jalapenos, 5 medium to large size, $.50 each, so $2.50

What is missing in all this number crunching is that intrinsic value. That freshness of taste. That discovery of a new and interesting variety of vegetable not encountered before. For me this week, rattlesnake beans are a new addition. I read up on them and found that young and tender, treat them like green beans, older with heavily developed beans, take them out of their pods and cook them.

Young rattlesnake beans

As for the garlic, I love getting organic garlic, and later this year, I will put aside a few heads in order to plant them this fall. Victoria over at The Soffrito planted hers in pots and heavily mulched them over the winter and got lovely garlic, including scapes prior to digging up the garlic to cure. Supermarket garlic won’t sprout; it is treated with an anti-sprouting agent.

Organic garlic, perfect for planting in October

This week with my other CSA goodies, I will be making potato salad, pickling some cukes, and also making tzatziki using some of Wegmans Greek yogurt and their organic lemons and mint from my garden. And, yes, I will be grilling some corn. I love it when corn season arrives.

Oh, and if I get a few more large tomatoes in the next two or three days, there will be gazpacho on the menu. Maybe on one of those hundred degree days that might come next week.

hocofood@@@

About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

3 responses »

  1. i love this! thank you for sharing your experience with the CSA. i’ve been mulling it over for a year now – and i think it’s time to make the investment!

    Reply
  2. You are right that the value can’t really be captured by comparing to market prices: there are so many other attributes to consider. It is also to hard to value a vegetable that you would never have bought yourself: is it worth less because you wouldn’t have chosen it, or is it worth more because you were introduced to something new?

    I like to count things, but I don’t do this accounting because I am afraid the total for us will be more than the farmers’ market, causing me to reconsider the CSA. I figure I should be willing to pay more than the farmers’ market, because having vegetables delivered to us (and not wanting to waste them) is an easy way to make sure we eat plenty of vegetables. That is definitely valuable.

    Reply
  3. Keep up the great work Annie! I’ve been chumping on my green beans from BW. I keep forgetting about them, and to the compost they go!

    Reply

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