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IUSED TO avoid okra like the plague, but after a summer
A week ago today was the first time since the beginning of May that I didn't load my kids into the car and drive 11 miles to Snead's Farm in Caroline County, pick up a few boxes of farm-fresh fruits and vegetables and then start the mad dash to cook or preserve them all before they either went bad or got buried under the next week's load.
My family joined a CSA program for the first time this year.
As someone who reads and writes about food, I had always been aware of CSAs, and I'd always been a bit intimidated
It would be too much food,
There's no way I'd be able to make the pickup every single week, I fretted at other times.
But when my husband suggested we join Snead's CSA while we were out at the farm's fall festival last year, I decided that with him on board, it was something we could manage.
Our share with Snead's cost $540 last year (we got a $60 discount for joining early), and included 18 weekly produce boxes, to be picked up at the farm every Wednesday from May through August.
We will also be getting a box
(If you consider that a 2011 survey by Nielsen Research found that the average cost of a real Christmas tree in the U.S. was $46, which sounds low to me, each box of produce we brought home cost around $26.)
So what was the value? There are several ways to look at that.
For one thing, I would say that on average, my weekly grocery bill (minus diapers and other nonfood items) was about 25 percent lower than it is when I buy all of my family's produce at the supermarket or farmers market.
I estimated the weekly savings to be somewhere in the $30 range; however, I kept largely