To CSA…

…or not to CSA – that is my current dilemma!

We participated in a CSA two summers ago. Because we have a tendency to “go all in” AND be frugal we signed up for a weekly CSA, which was going to supposedly provide enough vegetables for two vegetarian meals/week for a family of four OR enough for an entire week of veggie sides. We figured we could freeze/can/preserve the extras to enjoy during the off-season. Because that sounds reasonable, right?

As with everything we plan – it didn’t go according to plan. I didn’t realize just how many greens we’d be getting at the beginning and end of the growing season! Combine all those greens with the fact that not much else was available at the beginning of the season and I had decided that since we were spending so much on the CSA that we wouldn’t be supplanting with veggie purchases made elsewhere with the exception of onions and potatoes, of course, or if we were having dinner guests – because tangled webs are the only ones I weave 😉 Suffice it to say I was pretty sick of lettuce by the time our CSA ended.

Another thing I didn’t anticipate was all the time I would spend meal planning, prepping, and preserving all our goodies. While it was fun and interesting at the beginning when everything was novel and Monster napped three or four times a day, by the last month I felt I was in survival mode just trying to keep food from spoiling and at that point Monster was down to two naps a day and it felt like all my free time was spent dealing with those gosh-darn veggies!

So the following year we decided to just skip the CSA. Instead we’d grow our own garden full of our favorite vegetables. What could be more convenient, right? Any vegetables we didn’t grow but wanted/needed would be purchased from a local farmer’s market. But then we put the garden in late and I never weeded it because there wasn’t enough time in the day and so it our garden died a slow painful death by weeds. And we only visited the local farmer’s market once, for a play date, and all I purchased was apple cider and ginger (which was grown in China – so much for local, eh?).

Are you still there? Most riveting blog post ever, amiright? Assuming at least one of you didn’t click away or doze off from boredom I’ll wrap this up.

Here’s what I’m thinking for this year – bi-weekly CSA membership AND growing a small vegetable/herb garden. Anyone have experience doing this, especially with a three-year old underfoot? Can it be done without losing the little sanity I have left? The factor in our favor for this year is that P will officially be done with school in May, so I like to pretend he’ll be home more to help out. But since nothing ever goes how we plan, he’ll probably get a new job that will require lots of travel or something – so for the purpose of my sanity let’s assume me and Monster would do the majority of the gardening. Is a rambunctious little boy + a garden a recipe for disaster?

Tell me what you think. I’m all ears.

My little CSA helper

My little CSA helper

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