Tuesday, October 18, 2011

last summer csa pick up

Yesterday was the last pick up for the the season.  It was kind of bittersweet, not knowing if we would be having the summer CSA next year.  It was also a fairly small basket.  We are entering the end of October in Maine, and our farm doesn't grow a lot of winter storage crops for the CSA members.  Yesterday we got:

potatoes
leeks
lettuce
celeriac
and something that looks kind of like large white carrots...i'm thinking potentially some type of radish?  any ideas?

It is definitely taking a lot of faith on my part to not sign up next year for the CSA.  We may still do it.  We eat so many veggies, that it really does seem to work out financially.  For instance, I went to the grocery store and bought lettuce and spinach last weekend and spent $25...granted it was 2 11oz bags of lettuce and 2 11oz bags of spinach...and it was organic, but it is what we would use in a week.  My entire CSA share is $25/week...and we split with my mom...so it ends up being less.

I'm also having trouble thinking what I would need to grow.  I guess we will see as the weeks go on and our winter CSA starts up.  They obviously do all the root veggies and a lot of preserved/frozen foods, so I am not quite ready to give that up too.  Take onions for instance, we eat a lot of onions, onions and garlic are probably in every dish I make.  Are onions easy to grow?  Or would it be smarter to grow leeks and freeze them?  No clue!

I have been following along with Heather on her $400/month grocery challenge.  She eats a whole foods, mainly vegetarian diet, much like us, but I can't get how she can buy all of those fresh foods on that little per month, without the help of a CSA or a garden.  We usually budget around $300/month for groceries, not including our CSA's, and it doesn't seem to go all that far :-)  The only thing I can come up with is that we need to provide more of our own food, and hope that over the winter I can learn a lot about how to keep the pests away without spraying chemicals all over my yard.

Any gardeners out there that produce a large portion of their own food?  How did you start out?  Just remember we have a 16'x20' plot for our garden...you have to start somewhere right!?


3 comments:

  1. Hi Heather,

    I found you via Kate at Frugal Life. I'm a Mainer and we grow a lot of our own food, and purchase 99% of our meat us locally raised.

    If you are serious about growing more of your own food, I highly recommend you take the Mater Gardening class offered by the U Maine Cooperative Extension Service http://umaine.edu/gardening/programs/master-gardeners/

    You will learn a ton and be well on the way to successful growing, and you'll meet lots of like minded people as well. I took the course in 2009 and found it really useful even though I've been gardening since I was knee high.

    You might also want to look around for a farm that offers a winter share CSA. I don't know where you are in Maine, but there are lots in the mid-coast area who do this. And lots of towns have winter farmers' markets, too. The market in Brunswick is especially wonderful.
    Ali

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  2. We just moved to Kansas a year ago and this summer was so hot, I'm only left with a few herbs. At one point I was watering twice a day!!
    Did you figure out what veggie it was? Sounded like a parsnip to me.

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  3. It was a white beauty radish. We love parsnips here though :-) I should have posted a picture, that may have helped in solving the mystery!

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