Thursday, June 6, 2013

The best CSA ever!

The gogeous ACME CSA box.

For those of you who haven't been living under a rock for the past few years you might have noticed that "being local" has become quite the popular thing to be.  Many people are interacting locally in many different ways but in the end it's about doing things closer to your current home.  Some of the cool local things I've recently read about and participated in are:
  • Creating a home garden.  (That's about as local as you can get.  After all it's in your own back/front yard.)
  • Shopping at local businesses
  • Perusing at Farmer's Markets (Bellingham, WA has two each week.  Yippee!)
  • Joining a CSA
This last one is the one I'm going to talk about today.  One of the coolest ways to interact within your local community is to join a CSA.  Specifically, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  and in general it consists of a farmer opening up shares of their farm that you purchase.  In return for this purchase and usually additional seed money you get a box of goodies from said farm.  If you want to learn more about CSA's and want to find which ones are available in your area click here.

Now I have joined many CSA's over the years and they've all been somewhat satisfying.  I adored the idea of directly supporting farms, farmers and their associates but sometimes I ran into a few issues.  First of all since I have a large garden I couldn't always get through all the produce.  I had this big box of veggies/fruit and my garden producing at full force and it all became too much.  The other problem I ran into was that in my area I only got veggies or fruit and sometimes the occasional carton of eggs.  To get local meats and breads I had to go to the Farmer's Market or CO-OP and it felt like the CSA was a wasted trip.  Finally, the last and worst problem I ran into with one CSA was that the produce was too fresh.  In other words the produce was ready to eat and would go bad before I could use it.  I love purchasing local but wasted produce is simply money down the drain.   I hate waste more than anything. 

Therefore I kind of gave up on CSA's for awhile.  My husband was not happy with them either and he was a kind of a hard sell for the above reasons.  Then one day I was happily playing on facebook and someone mentioned a place called Acme Farms + Kitchen .  I am always curious about everything local and because it was new I checked them out.  I noticed instantly that this was no ordinary CSA.  This was a pair of moms who started a company that coordinated with local farms and businesses to provide local products that were organized into neat and tidy boxes.  In fact they refer to these boxes as a CSK (Community Supported Kitchen) because they offer a range of products.  Yes, that's correct.  This company not only offers produce but they also offer bread, fresh pasta, meat (chicken and seafood), beans, honey, milk, name a few.  The best part is that everything you purchase is local.  Yippy Skippy.

I must also mention that the produce included in the boxes in impeccable.  It's perfectly fresh yet lasts all week long.  I've been getting produce boxes for over a month now and nothing has gone bad.  If anything it lasts a little over a week.  Here's a nice picture of one of the CSA boxes I recently received.  Isn't everything gorgeous?
Here's what's inside.  Stunning huh?

Acme Farms + Kitchen also offer these fabulous things called locavore boxes.  The locavore boxes are wonderful boxes filled with produce and other delights. Not only does Acme Farms + Kitchen tailor make them to your dietary needs but they also comes with recipes.  Now these aren't just any recipes.  They are incredibly varied recipes that incorporate all the local ingredients included in your box.  That means that there is no waste.  You use absolutely everything in them.  What this concept translates to is a significant cost savings on your grocery bill and your family ends up eating far more vegetables than they normally would.  It's a win, win, win.  My husband is now a true convert and is addicted to the dairy-free locavore box that we routinely get.  And please note that my husband is incredibly frugal and quite picky about the quality of his food.  He and I are both like kids in a candy store when we pick up our CSA.  It has been quite the blessing in our home. 

So thank you Acme Farms + Kitchen.  Thank you for being smart organized women with good hearts and sound minds.  Because of your business our local economy just gets better and better. 
Please notice that there are shucked oysters from Taylor Shellfish Farm, Ralphs Pretzel buns, Breadfarm Hoagies, pasture raise eggs and Bellingham Pasta Co.Fusilli.  This is the non-veggie portion of the dairy-free locavore box I just purchased. 

Tomatoes in June!  Kale, green asparagus, assortment of lettuces and oregano.  Yes, herbs are often included in the produce box.  Nice touch!

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