1. It's actually super affordable
The up front cost of subscribing to a farm share can seem like a lot...enough to intimidate people that would otherwise happily sign up. However, the overall cost of a fruit and vegetable CSA works out to be about $30 a week. If you're like us, it's easy to spend much more than that grocery shopping on a weekly basis, so it could actually end up saving you money in the long run. Pro tip: if you can't afford one big payment, most farms or food hubs will work out plans so you can pay in several installments.
2. You'll diversify the kind of nutrients you're getting
It's easy to get in a rut with your veggie routine. If you know what you like, why change it? The problem with this mentality is that you may be missing out on important nutrients coming from a wide variety of produce in your diet. Choosing to sign up for a CSA ensures that you will receive a diverse selection of locally grown, in-season produce on a weekly basis, and all of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and health benefits that go along with that.
3. You'll learn to be more creative in the kitchen
Part of the joy of receiving a local food subscription is never knowing exactly what you're going to get. It's like signing up to be surprised with a delivery of new goodies each week. You're bound to end up with some strange looking veggies that you've never heard of before (i.e. celery root? We promise it's tastier than it looks.) On the plus side, your farm or food hub will share ideas with you, and it’s fun to look up new recipes to try- you may end up with some new favorites.
4. Grocery shopping will become WAY easier
Meal planning can be a serious struggle. If you've ever attempted to grocery shop at the end of a busy work day when you're starving (and the market is SLAMMED)- then you know the convenience of being able to spend a few minutes picking up a basket of locally grown fresh food is invaluable. Also, did you know that you can sign up for plans that include more than just fruits and veggies?! The Intervale Food Hub's subscription offers plans that include local meat, cheese, bread, eggs, and speciality products (!!!) which could replace grocery shopping entirely!
5. CSAs keep small farms in business
Farmers are rad. They put in A LOT of work to provide fresh, healthy, and sustainable food to the community, and for very little profit. Small farms are constantly battling to stay afloat in a market that is dominated by huge commercial farms and the industrial meat industry. Signing up for a CSA means that farmers can rely on your contribution as a source of income, and they can continue to support the community at a local level.
Localvore staffers share a Vermont Vegetable subscription from the Intervale Food Hub. For more information about food subscriptions offered by the Intervale Food Hub visit their website (intervalefoodhub.com/summer)