I have always wanted to join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). You pay a monthly cost to buy into the farm, and weekly, or bi weekly, you get a box of fresh produce delivered to your house. Such a cool idea, and a great way to be more involved in your community. But here’s the thing, I can’t really eat raw vegetables. They wreck havoc on my body (one of the joys of Crohn’s disease). So the cost of it has never been feasible to me unfortunately. It’s still cheaper for me to go to the farmer’s market and buy the single had of lettuce I need for the week, and my two apples and 6 carrots, or whatever it is.
But then I heard of a program called Imperfect Produce. It was started in the Bay Area as a way of rescuing produce that would otherwise be thrown away. Grapefruits that are too small, lumpy potatoes, misshapen pears, no one likes to buy cosmetically imperfect items at the grocery store, so it often gets passed up if it ever makes it to the market in the first place. Enter, Imperfect Produce. They collect the produce and deliver it to homes of people (such as myself) who would happily eat it. I don’t particularly care the size of my kiwi!
You can customize the size of the box, and the contents of the box. Don’t like parsnips? You can request never to receive any. Have six growing teenagers? Get the biggest box every week. In our house, there are only two adults and no children, so we get the smallest box, every other week. And it’s the perfect amount for us. It typically costs me about $12 for each box, which is definitely less than all the produce I would pick up at the store. I get to see online the weekend before the box is delivered what it’s contents will be. I can choose to discard any items that wouldn’t get eaten and we can add any extras. Boxes are delivered in the evening so that they stay cool.
Last night we received our box, which we receive every other week. It contained:
8 small funny shaped carrots, 6 small oranges, 2 pears, 3 kiwis, 2 apples, a lot of broccoli, 3 avocados, and 5 oddly shaped grapefruit. And I think I was charged $13. Oh, and an artichoke. Fantastic! Getting this produce delivered makes me especially eager to go through it, as it was already discarded once. Here’s the link Imperfect Produce Feel free to check it out and see for yourself! They aren’t available in all areas yet, but they are expanding.
There are other other organizations across the hungry who offer a similar community service. Hungry Harvest is another one. If you have any interest in learning more, I recommend doing your research. Different communities have different options. How do you save money on produce?