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.
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- 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.
- 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.