CSA Basket of The Week

July 2, 2008

Well, I leave it to you experts out there (if you buy food, you’re an expert, right?), what do you think of this basket of food?

I don’t usually leave pictures full sized, but if you click on this, it’ll bring up a huge picture so you can get pretty good detail on this week’s items.

There is a nice basket of berries there in front I need to clean. To the right is a package of sausage, hot. And I do mean hot. Last time I cooked some of this, it was so hot we couldn’t eat it, and The Farmer loves to pile jalapeno peppers on salads or sandwiches. I have to wonder if they put it in the baskets because nobody else wants it.

As you can see in the basket, there’s 3 yellow squash, a cucumber, 6 little tomatoes, 3 onions, and a few sprigs of herbs. Oh, and a box of mixed beans that are decent.

Now, research by myself and a friend at the local Publix and Farmer’s Market would suggest the following prices (and I tried to err on the generous side):

  • $4.50 Beans (selling .42/ounce for organically grown beans at Publix)
  • $4.99 Berries (per quart at Farmer’s Market; guessing that’s right size)
  • $-.50 Cucumber (2 for $1 at Farmer’s Market)
  • $2.50 Herbs ($2.50 for bag with about 12 sprigs at Publix)
  • $-.45 Onions (10 for $1.49 at Farmer’s Market)
  • $6.00 Sausage (for 1 1/2 pounds as advertised on CSA site)
  • $1.99 Squash (8 or 9 for $1.99 of young squash at Farmer’s Market)
  • $2.10 Tomatoes (10 for $3.50 at Farmer’s Market)
    $23.03 Total

We started the second week of May, and run through the first week of October. As near as I can tell, that’s 21 weeks for $650, or $30.95 a week. If I’m wrong and there’s another week in there, it’d only be $29.54 a week, but I think it’s 21 weeks and the higher price.

I know they have to buy baskets and boxes, but then, the people at the Farmer’s Market and Publix had to package their goods also, so I don’t really think it’s fair to add anything on the cost for that.

I would also hope that as their garden produces more, we’d get more in the basket. But leaving quantity aside, which I realize would vary with what the garden is producing, there’s the issue of quality. Maybe it’s just me, but the squash are way too big – they’re supposed to be young and small so there are few seeds. The cucumber is also too old, and several veggies in the past have been the same, like the snowpeas and broccoli.

The sausage is excellent quality meat, but so hot we can’t eat it. The Farmer suggested I mix it with some unseasoned pork to tone down the heat, so that might work. I’d hate to feed another $6 worth of meat to the dogs.

I went into this hoping for some high quality food and a great experience to write about. I just know CSA is a good thing, and I wanted to be able to brag about how great the one was I joined. I figured, hey, I could write them up and they get some free advertisment! But you notice I’ve been careful not to mention the name, and even ‘erased’ their stamp off the sausage package.

Cause unless I’m missing something, I don’t think they’ve earned bragging rights.

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P.S. I finally figured out what form the email should take I send to the people running this particular CSA (trying to be as non-confrontational as possible). I think I will let them know I’ve been putting pictures of the produce on my blog, and gotten several comments, and thought they might be interested in reading some of them… then make a list of some I’ve gotten over the last 8 weeks, along with a comment or two of my own at the end. I’ll wait for people to comment on this post, then send them an email tomorrow.

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