June is exciting in these parts. It’s time for the farmer’s markets, CSAs and the like to swing into action.
Last year, we only went to one farmer’s market and I was not impressed. In the spring the tables were full … of goods brought in from other, warmer states. I wanted local produce, and there was hardly anything. (It was mid to late June, and I know our garden already is or could be producing lettuces, spinach, radishes, carrots, peas, onions … so why not the pros?) Our grocer stocks a lot of local produce, so I gave up easily.
This year, I’m going to make more of an effort. If you would like to find a local farmers market in your area, you can check Local Harvest. Better yet, search for “farmers market” and the name of your state or city. Many states have a farmers market association with listings of local markets.
And, exciting for me — I found a local (within 100 miles) organic CSA to join. We purchased a half-share, which was still available last week. We’ll get about a big sack of produce every week through December.
Bulk/advance buying changes your whole grocery-budget mindset: This spring I will have forked out over $800 for food I can’t eat right away (our local beef and the CSA). But if I divvy those bills out over the course of now through December, it comes to about $23 per week for our produce and meat — not too bad at all. We will of course be supplementing with our home-grown produce. The CSA farm mentioned that it anticipates having extras available — like roasted green chiles and tomatoes — for members to put up for the winter. Our first pickup is next Thursday – I can’t wait to see what we get.
Have you signed up for a CSA? Are you a farmers market regular?