CSA is Community Supported Agriculture. Most people are familiar with the term, because organic farming has been steadily growing in popularity over the years. I know my husband and I have been discussing it for a long time. But we’ve never pulled the trigger.
So, to CSA or to not CSA? That is the question.
Every time I think about the idea, I get all excited. I want to support the wonderful people in my community who have forged into the unknown and built a farm. I mean, goodness. That’s a risky business, and it’s insanely hard work. Farming, in this day and age, isn’t just about growing things. Farmers have to be skilled self-promoters, speakers, networkers, and educators. Organic farmers are change agents. Pushing people to really look at how they spend their money and what industries they support.
People don’t like change. People fight change. People don’t like to see the ugly side of things. We like the idea of good guys and bad guys, but we never want to think we’re the “bad guys”.
Hrm. I digress. I don’t want to dive into the moral and ethical judgments around the issue.
There are two main reasons I haven’t signed up for a CSA, yet.
It’s classic human behavior. I find it easier to pay small amounts, more frequently. Um…because it’s easier for me to pretend they don’t add up to the big $$$.
And let’s be honest, industrial farming was created for a reason. Bigger crop yields mean lower prices, and the ability to feed more people at once. It’s all about American efficiency and productivity. Of course, that comes with a hidden price. Chemicals. Hormones. Big farms pushing out small farms. Yada yada yada. I’m sure you’re quite familiar with the arguments.
When I look at these CSA prices, my eyes pop out of my head. I get a small lump in my throat. And I can’t stop myself from mumbling, “Good governor!”
But if I really looked at the numbers holistically I would probably realize that it’s a wash in the long run.
I guess for me, it seems impossible to write such a large check all at once. When I think in terms of percent of monthly budget on food it’s based on that month’s paychecks. In all honesty, joining a CSA will require some planning and saving on my part. Just to make that first, large down payment.
But you pay for what you get. Right?
# 2 I-can-do-that syndrome
I have lofty dreams. Many interests. And delusions of grandeur.
Every spring, I weed the garden, plant my seeds, and water those fresh veggie starts.
Summer brings more sun, and things start to grow. And then I get home late from work, and the weeds start growing faster than I can pull them out. And then we go camping over the weekend, and I forget to water the garden. And then the bunnies, snails, slugs, and other earth creatures invade and feast on my “garden”.
What I’m saying is…I fancy myself a farmer. But I’m really, really NOT.
And every year my brain gets caught up in the same game. I blame it on winter. It’s this time of year, where winter is winding down and spring is ever so close. When I’m craving color and the beauty of summer’s bounty wipes my memory and makes me think this year will be different. This year I’ll get it right and I’ll have this giant horn of bounty. And if I have my own organic veggies just waiting to be harvested in my backyard, then what would I do with a CSA basket?
And those are the two main reasons why I haven’t committed to a CSA, yet.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Have you joined a CSA? Why or why not?
So, yeah. To CSA or to not CSA? It’s still the question for me.