Every Spring, I think about joining a CSA.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a program that involves buying a number of shares at a local farm. These shares help farmers stay in business and connect with customers interested in their wares. On the consumer side, the shares provide weekly access to fresh, seasonal and often organic foods and help preserve New England’s rural character.
The CSA I’ve been thinking about joining is connected to a 35-acre farm that’s been in business since 1780 and uses sustainable farming practices. For $400, I can purchase a half-share (enough to feed two people) that provides 17 weeks of certified organic fruit and veg such as asian greens, beans, beets, broccoli, broccoli rabe, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, chard, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, fennel, garlic, scallions, soybeans, herbs, leeks, lettuce, onions, parsnips, peaches, peas, peppers, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, shallots, spinach, squash, tomatoes, turnips and watermelon. U-pick ’em blueberries, strawberries and pumpkins are also available.
For a couple hundred dollars more, I can buy a meat share of grass-fed beef, lamb, chicken and/or turkey. The animals at this farm feed naturally at pasture, and are raised without hormones, antibiotics or steroids.
Since the farm is close by, the weekly pick-up won’t take much time or effort. Customers who are unable to afford a share may still sign up in exchange for a few hours spent working on the farm. And, there’s no need to worry about unfamiliar fruit and veg; this CSA includes recipes in the weekly box.
So with all of these advantages, why do I hesitate? Timing. We’ve been saving to buy a house for a while now, and our goal is to do so by the end of the year. We also hope to move to another part of the state or country (unless Nova Scotia or Scotland will have us, then we’re more than willing to become expats).
Due to our uncertain circumstances, we could end up moving in a month or not until the Fall. As such, I’d hate to buy a share for the next 17 weeks and leave without completing it. There’s also a side of me that senses if I do buy the share, it will guarantee a quicker move, which, of course, makes me want to do it all the more.
The deadline to join is looming. Should I live in the moment and go for it? Or be cautious and hope doing so will be more cost-effective? I’m open to your thoughts.