How I eat organic on a budget

There has been a lot of buzz about eating locally grown produce. Not only is it super beneficial for your body and mind, but it’s easy on the wallet. (More money to travel! That’s how I measure my wealth at least.)

You may have heard of a CSA, but may not have fully known how amazing it is and how it can be mutually beneficial for you and the farmer. CSA stands for community supported agriculture. It allows folks living in in urban areas to have direct access to fresh, high quality (often organic) produce grown locally by farmers.

This is how it works: when you participate in the CSA, you purchase a “share” of the seasonal vegetable directly from the farmer, hence cutting out the middle man. You get a share weekly from June until November. The farmer drops off the produce to a drop-off location, where you can pick it up in your neighborhood. Many CSAs also deliver for an extra fee. 

Here is the best part! It’s typically between $20-$27 per week! Yes, you read that correctly. In NYC, I have paid more than than for lunch. This chunk of change will allot you 7-10 different types of vegetables that are picked weekly. A full share is plenty for a family of 4. There are options to get half shares (which is what I do.) The half shares will cost you between $10-$14 a week! Think about all the things you can do with all that money you will save!
So here is a small and the only stipulation. You pay for the 6 months of fresh produce at the beginning of the season. This is usually $500-600 for a full share of weekly fresh produce from June to November. Unless you have a household that eats LOTS of vegetable, most people do half a share. That’s about $300.  Think about what you spent on your groceries last week.
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Here is how you do it:

Go to localharvest.org an enter your zip code. The lists of pick ups for your local CSAs will pop up. You simply email the contact person provided and mail in the check. If you are interested in eating local and fresh for cheap, sign up will close soon. So head over to the website now! Get your friends and family in on it too and share the wealth.

Purchasing a CSA share also helps the farmer and his family stay in business, cuts out the middleman, and allows them to stay on the farm. 
By supporting local farmers today, you can help ensure that there will be farms in our communities for future generations, that there will be green space for wildlife, and that our kids will have access to locally grown food.

And finally, there is nothing more beautiful and fulfilling than spending time with loved ones cooking and preparing clean, delicious foods that heal the body, mind, and spirit.

Written By:  Jalpa Dhaduk
Certified Nutrition & Wellness Coach, Occupational Therapist