Buying Organic Produce on a Budget in Canada
You’ve decided to up your game. You’ve made a decision to recharge your health, and you’re going to kick the whole fiesta off by eating more veggies…way more veggies than you ever have. And, while you’re at it, you’re going to start juicing!
You are on a mission to saturate every cell, every nook and cranny of your beautiful body, with nutrients, nutrients and more nutrients. You are ready to fuel your fire and ignite the radiant energy within.
You’re not taking the easy way out. You are going to rebuild your health from the ground up: one super, body-vibrating, green juice at a time. Your diet revamp is commencing now.
To inaugurate your newly found zest for living clean and living lean, you bounce on over to your local grocery store to stock-up on power house veggies. In your mind: the greener the better.
You veer your shopping cart off into the produce section to behold all of the glistening, sparkling, buffed-up, lightly misted veggies. You grab some zucchini, celery, cucumbers, kale and spinach. You pop them into your cart and think, ‘I’m going to make the most kick-ass juice on the planet, and my body is gonna love me for it! I’m a wellness rock star!’
Well…yes, you are a rock star. You’ve made an amazing, life affirming decision to recharge your health. But here comes the reality check.
Little did you know that you just selected some of the most highly pesticide ridden produce on the market. And, you’re about to juice them, steam them and sauté them. Then you’re gonna eat them.
I hear you; I hear you. What other option do you have? You’ve eyeballed the organic veggies before, and they’re way too expense. Rest assured; I agree. I was at my local organic grocery store, about to buy some cucumbers, and they were $4 a piece! That’s crazy! I can’t afford to buy a $4 cucumber.
But here’s the good news. There is another option to buying organic produce without going to a grocery store. It all has to do with your local CSA.
Let me tell you what a CSA is:
Community Shared Agriculture, or CSA, is a local system to grow, harvest and distribute body rockin’ organic produce to city dwellers like you and me. The CSA system re-establishes a connection between local farmers and city folk.
I don’t know about you but I have no idea where my veggies came from when I bought them at the grocery store. But with a CSA, you know exactly where your food comes from. And, I think that’s empowering!
So, here’s how you benefit from a CSA:
At the beginning of any season, you can purchase what is referred to as a ‘farm share’. Buying a farm share allows you to have access to the harvested produce at the farm running the CSA program.
There are many farms, in fact thousands of farms across North American, that participate in the CSA system. And, this system is your ticket to getting luscious, organic veggies for a fraction of the cost.
How do I find a local CSA program?
Well…I’m happy that you asked. All you have to do is hop online, and Google your city’s name and Community Shared Agriculture delivery. It’s that simple.
You can also do a Google search for the CSA directory in your province or state. For example, I live in the province of Ontario, Canada. And, we have an Ontario CSA Directory, which lists all of the CSA farms according to region in Ontario. From this directory I can see that there are 15 CSA farms ready and willing to deliver organic veggies to me in the city of Toronto. How fabulous, right?!
Let’s get down to cost, shall we?
For the last 4 years, I have purchased a farm share from Plan B Organic Farms: a farm not too far from Toronto.
You can see by my photos that Plan B provides an amazing array of organically grown produce. Each week, we pick-up our share from a local pick-up location, which is just around the corner from our house. You can also have the veggies delivered straight to your door — if that’s what you prefer.
We always purchase a half share, instead of a full share. We find that a half share, delivered weekly, is plenty for the two of us. The cost of the CSA farm share with Plan B is approximately $35-40 per week ($140-160 per month). I think that’s a steal! And, we purchase a share every season — even winter.
My man and I get really happy and excited every time Thursday rolls around, and we get to pick up our farm share. With Plan B you never know what you’re going to get. But we love that! We are willing to eat any type of veggie at any time. We just love the surprise each week.
And…here’s another plus. You can also get fresh, organic eggs and coffee beans. Or how about organic sandwich wraps? We barely have to go to a grocery store at all. We just stock up on our favorite legumes and rice, and eat our organic farm share with glee. Who wants to stand in line-ups at the grocery store, anyway?
5 Fabulous Things About CSAs
1. The local environment is made healthier by less transportation and packaging requirements
2. CSAs build communities and local economies
3. City dwellers get access to organic food that is fresh, local and affordable
4. Consumers learn how to eat ‘seasonally’ and about produce grown in their province or state
5. CSAs create a viable business for farmers
So, get on the net and Google your local CSA farms. You won’t regret it, and you won’t miss shlepping to the grocery store either.