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A Fall First: Grade A Gardens CSA

All Rights Reserved Megan Bannister

After three years of working Saturdays at the Downtown Des Moines’ Farmers’ Market I finally pulled the trigger and decided to sign up for a CSA share with a local farm this fall. (Wait, a what? A CSA—which stands for Community Supported Agriculture—is a partnership between a farmer and a customer who purchases a share at the beginning of the season for a weekly delivery of fruits, vegetables and more).

Ever the list-maker and over-thinker, I spent the better part of a Sunday afternoon looking up different Des Moines area farms that offered fall or winter CSA options, weighing factors like pick-up location, price point and size of the CSA. Finally, I settled on Grade A Gardens, a great farm in Johnston and one of our vendors at the Market.

In short, I loved it. While my CSA was a shorter time commitment (just four weeks), it was great to get a taste of the process and what to expect from a bigger seasonal commitment.

The Pros

  • The biggest pro? Some seriously delicious seasonal vegetables grown just miles from where I live.
  • While some weeks the CSA was a lot of food, a lot of the fall veggies—onions, squash, garlic, even peppers—last a lot longer than other types of produce so I’m set going into the winter months.
  • Recipes in a weekly newsletter sent out by Grade A’s owners to spark some creativity with my new CSA veggies.

The Cons

  • Like I said, sometimes it’s a lot of food (especially for someone who currently lives alone)
  • Since you’re getting the freshest local vegetables (pro), what you’ll get in your weekly box is sometimes a mystery (semi-con). Have any idea how to eat celeriac? Neither did I. But that’s what the Internet is for.

Have you signed up for a CSA before? Which one? Did you like it? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

CSA Meals

Comments (1)

[…] This fall I joined a CSA from Grade A Gardens, a wonderful farm located just outside of Des Moines. You can read more about my experience here. […]

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