Saturday, April 3, 2010

Organic on a budget?

About a year ago I was talking to a friend and saying how much I would love to have a garden but felt I didn't have time or patience. The benefits and taste of organic vegetables I have heard is wonderful. Then fast forward to me getting an email from a lady who organizes a co-op where all the items are organic and purchased from the distributor for one of our local organic stores MOM's. She got my email from the friend who I was talking with, such an answered to prayer. I would love to get these items but for the most part not cheap.

She sent me the spreadsheet of items they offer on a two week delivery. I couldn't believe the amount we would get for $40 every two weeks. Although, you are able to create whatever budget you want to spend. I was excited and decided to try. The worse case is I could opt out at any time. We have been doing this for a couple months and I have to admit it all does taste better. Even my husband who was a skeptic agreed that the taste was so much better.

Below is my most recent delivery, this order was $54 because I opted to get extra yogurt. I have found that we are eating more fruits and vegetables because the are readily available. My family is eating new things we have never tried like bok choy. I menu plan to spread out all the produce. For a couple weeks we got 3 lbs of onions, so those that we didn't use I chopped and froze them, which works really well when they aren't on sale and/or not in our delivery. The added benefit is that I go every other week and get it all in one shot.

You can find out about produce co-ops by going to Local Harvest. Put in your zip code and find what works for you. This co-op was created to get families through the winter months with quality organic produce. Some co-ops go all year. However, in the spring - fall some families either have their own gardens or like our family, we are doing a CSA. Local Harvest also provides information about CSAs - which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. These are local farms that you can pay shares and in return you get a portion of the crop each week. I have researched and found that it is best to go with a CSA that has multiple farms participating in the event one farm has a bad crop year, you will still get produce. Also the one we have selected includes a loaf of fresh bread and eggs in the order. The share is enough to feed a family of 4, for a week. Once you sign up, you are locked in for whatever season you select. This is something we will be trying this year and looking forward to some local organic produce.

So if you think that it isn't possible to eat well for your family on a budget, these are a couple ways to make that happen.

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