That element of surprise is what I actually like about belonging to a CSA! I plan my meals after I see what I’ve gotten. I have participated in several CSAs over the last few years and can hardly wait to see what goodies await me when I’m handed my bag. One local farmer’s co-op brings in whatever is harvested in season and you get to make selections – I’ve had produce such as, okra, blackberries, corn, a pumpkin, soybeans, and greens I’ve never heard of. Love it! I also like the Hen House “Pick 5” CSA program. Participants go each Saturday and pick any five items from the great selection. If I want five cartons of peaches, I can get five cartons, or I can mix and match, which is fun. It’s not a chore to me … it’s a culinary adventure! Jenny, mom of two, agrees with me. She’s participated in Peacock Farms CSA for three years (it’s delivered to your door and it’s organic!) and enjoys the unknown. “You don’t know what’s coming and I like that surprise,” she said. “It forces us to try different things.” Even if her kids turn their noses up at times, Jenny still wants them to be exposed to different foods. Rhubarb was the unique item delivered in her last order, and she made a delicious rhubarb cobbler for her family.
Many of the moms I talked to claimed to be spontaneous shoppers, saying the CSA option didn’t fit:
“I go when I need something, and I just look around to see what looks good.”
“I don’t spend a lot of time grocery shopping – I just grab and go.”
“I’m always last minute shopping!”
“I just forget about (farmer’s markets/CSAs) and shop for produce at my grocery store.”
Some moms said the commitment all summer long, coupled with the “surprise” element, were cons to using a local CSA. “I’d be interested if I could pick and choose what I like and when I’d go pick it up,” said Courtney. Wendy, mom of three, agreed: “I don’t use all the things included. I’d want to pick and choose my items.” Chris, mom of two boys, said she’d like to try a CSA but she doesn’t know where to go. “I haven’t pursued it … lazy! Maybe I would if it were right under my nose.”