CSA - Week #1

It feels like it's been forever since I've written a post. In fact, we were away on vacation for the last two weeks, and before that I guess I just got wrapped up in preparations and such. To make you feel better, here's a picture of an Arctic Fox who walked past us while we were hiking in Iceland.

What better way to get back into the swing of things, though, than with our first CSA delivery this week?

This year we signed up for a full family share from Eagle Creek Farms. If you're not familiar with CSAs, or Community Supported Agriculture, the concept is that before the season starts, you buy a share, or half-share, of the year's harvest. The consumers, therefore, share the inherent risks of farming with the producers. In theory, this helps local farmers to survive in a tough marketplace where a bad hailstorm or dry year could otherwise cripple them financially.

Another benefit is that it puts people like me in touch with the producers to discuss different packaging options. Of course, packaging is handled differently by every farm; Eagle Creek has already shown interest in reducing plastic bag use. Half of this week's share did come pre-bagged, but from the sounds of it they're planning to reduce this for the rest of the year.

On the bright side, I'm thinking that even with the plastic bags, there is less over-all packaging here than if you bought the same products from the grocery store. Keep in mind that products in grocery stores come shipped in big trucks from all over, in cardboard boxes stacked on wooden pallets, which, if I remember correctly, are sometimes also wrapped in plastic wrap to keep the box stack from falling over. Inside the cardboard boxes, there products themselves may or may not also be packaged in plastic. Even bananas, which we think come unpackaged, come in a big cardboard box with a giant plastic bag inside. These veggies were shipped in a trailer from Bowden to Calgary in reusable green plastic totes. Though the greens were in bags, I think overall this is a big improvement.

So what did we get this week? Well, that's lettuce, arugula, spinach, garlic scapes, radishes, pea shoots, two potted herbs, and some cut flowers, just for good measure.

We've got lots of greens to eat this week, which is great because we've been eating a lot of restaurant and take-out food for the last two weeks.

Are you in a CSA? Leave a comment!


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