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Benefits of Local Produce

As many of you know, my life revolves around food.  If I had to choose between shelter and food, I would opt for a belly well fed. And I don't fuel my active body with just anything. All of the produce I buy is organic and we all know that can add up. How many times have you walked into Whole Foods and spent an entire week’s grocery budget on a single bag of items? Yep, been there, done that!  It can be discouraging to continue to buy organic when the other stuff is so cheap. Better doesn't mean more expensive. This year, my visits to Whole Foods have become less frequent and my collection of fresh produce is more abundant than ever.

Q: What can I do to eat organic produce and stay on budget?

A: Join a Community Supported Agriculture program (CSA).

As a CSA member, I receive a weekly box of organic, seasonal fresh produce. A box typically contains between 8-10 different items. This Spring I can expect fresh and yummy strawberries, rainbow chard, broccoli, romaine lettuce, radishes and yellow zucchini. No longer am I squinting in the produce section reading how this cucumber or this bunch of bananas came from Mexico or Chile. For about $12/ week, I pick up organic and seasonal fruits and veggies that were grown less than 30 miles away!

My CSA is Blue House Farm in Pescadero, California. I chose this specific farm based on their specialty in leafy greens and other fruits and veggies I love. In addition to their amazing produce, Blue House Farm sends weekly newsletters with a list of what’s in my box and seasonal recipes that help me make better use of the produce.

Q: How do I sign up for a CSA?

A: Visit www.localharvest.org/csa. There, you can chose from a list of CSA programs near you with a variety of pick-up locations that are most convenient for you.

Being part of  a CSA is a great opportunity to know the people growing your food and learn more about how the food is grown. You can consume fresh fruits and veggies full of flavor and vitamins in their natural form, free of chemicals.

As summer approaches you will be drawn to seasonal produce such as golden beets, strawberries, leeks, summer squash, plums, and decadent kale. Do your body and wallet some good and increase your standard of fresh, organic and local produce. By joining a CSA, you’re supporting local famers-- we wouldn’t be our most radiant selves without the work they do.

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