This summer I have been doing a workshare CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) at a local farm. At this farm, by doing jobs such as planting, mulching, harvesting, washing lettuce, etc. a certain number of hours per week gets us a full share of vegetables, berries and herbs each week from June to October.
I have been wanting to join a CSA for a few years, but we haven't been able to put out the cash ($500ish) in years past. At the IPFW health fair this past spring I saw the booth for a local CSA and thought I would talk to the folks there. I was very excited when they told me about the work share program -who doesn't love (sort of) free stuff??
The work has been fun, rewarding, hard, and sweaty. I have learned a lot - really the tip of the iceberg - about what different plants need in the soil, how to harvest different vegetables and which bugs to squish versus which ones to put back on a plant. I've also met a lot of people form all walks of life who love fresh vegetables.
What I like best about the farm is that it is organic. I know the vegetables are safe for my family to eat, and quite frankly they taste better than what is available in the stores. I also love helping triple-wash the lettuce and knowing it is thoroughly checked over and I don't need to wash it again. I always wash lettuce from the store even if it says it is safe not to!
I would definitely suggest joining a CSA to anyone who is interested in fresh, delicious and flavorful food. A workshare is a great option for those of us who have time but might be lacking a bit in the money area. I consider the CSA workshare to be a terrific way to feed my family nutritious food all summer (and part of autumn!) long.