A few weeks ago Cheryl and I signed up to start participating in the Full Circle Farms CSA. We've both been getting more and more keen on organic produce over the last few years... and had been meaning to support a program like this for a long time. The one down-side is that FCF CSA is not local, so we are not only not eating locally, but we aren't asking for Alaskan Grown. As an addition to that, I'm a bit concerned about the carbon cost associated with shipping this produce to Alaska.
I did read something recently (unfortunately, I don't remember where. It may have been an Ideal Bite tip) that indicated the carbon cost associated with online shopping and overnight delivery is less than a solitary trip to the mall to purchase the same product. So, I'm assuming the same could be true of this program, except for the fact that it's not delivered to either of our doors- we have to go pick it up. That surely must negate the chances of its carbon cost being less than a trip to the mall. This box was remarkably light though, so maybe taking the bus or riding my bike to Winterberry is a reasonable option.
It's a little sad, but in the winter months, we don't have a lot of options for fresh produce up here...certainly even fewer in terms of organics. So, I feel good about our choice to go with the FCF CSA, even if they aren't local. However, soon the local farmer's markets will be back and chock full of fresh produce.
Cheryl and I are also looking into joining Arctic Organics CSA (based out of Palmer, as opposed to Washington State) when it starts back up in a few months. The idea is that we'll use Arctic Organics during their season, and Full Circle Farms during the remainder of the year. Unfortunately, their website is a bit out of date, and I've not received a reply to my email, so the details for that aren't lined up yet.
Today was an exciting day because we received our first bi-weekly box of produce from Full Circle Farms! I picked it up at Winterberry Charter School and then took it to Cheryl's house so we could divvy it up. Sadly Cheryl was sick today...but she looks awfully happy with all of our beautiful new organic produce, doesn't she?
And our produce is quite beautiful too. We got carrots, green onion, garlic, spinach, mixed greens, green beans, snow peas, pears, mangos, strawberries and lemons! I really can't wait to see the next box! I am wondering if we're going to want to get a large box instead of a small...or maybe get a box weekly. The small box, at $38 each, isn't cheap though, which is precisely why we decided to go in on this together. But 1/2 lb of green beans for two people for two weeks is a whole lot less than 1lb for two weeks, or 1/2lb a week. I think we're definitely going to have to supplement this box with local purchases as well. But, it's a good start, especially for the place we each are academically and financially at this point in our lives...