Wednesday, February 2, 2011

One of our best decisions this past year

Hands down one of our best decisions last year was to sign up for a CSA. What is a CSA? It's stands for Community Supported Agriculture, which is a way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from local farmers. Farms will offer a certain number of "shares" to the public to purchase. Some local farmers in this area offer Vegetable CSA and we were lucky enough to have friends introduce us to a Meat CSA.

We bought a 6 month share of a meat CSA through a local farm, Pat's Pastured. Every month we go to our local farmer's market and pick up our share. We split this share with friends, since it's only the two of us in our house, and a share is about 12-15 lbs of meat a month. Typically we get a dozen eggs, a whole chicken, bacon, sausage, pork chops, smoked ham, ground beef or lamb, sometimes some sirloin steaks, lamb shanks, or kielbasa etc. The meat is all locally raised with no hormones or antibiotics and grass and pasture fed. The meat comes frozen, so, after we divy it up, we go home and pop it in the freezer.

When our friends first asked if we'd be interested in this, Mr. Allan was a little more skeptical than me...wondering if the price was right and if there really is a difference between this meat and stuff we buy at Whole Foods? But, after about 8 months of participating in the CSA, he's sold. When I brought home the meat this past Saturday, he spied a whole chicken and started in with his Homer Simpson voice saying..hmmm...chicken and swears its the best chicken he's ever eaten

The winter's farmer's a bit smaller than the summer one, but always packed.
 Our big bag o frozen meat. we usually get around 10-11 different packages that we split with another couple.

Here's a link to Pat's Pastured. Click HERE They have all sorts of events at the farm and can be found at area local farmer's markets. Our favorite items...everything! But...some noteworthy things we love...the breakfast sausage and's AMAZING how good nitrate and sulfate free bacon without all the additives, flavorings etc tastes. There are also poultry CSA's as well, however, we usually get a whole chicken with our meat CSA that is hands down one of our favorite items as well! 

Summer CSA sign ups are right around the corner and they sell out quickly!

But, the big question is, why would you do it or is it really worth it? In my opinion, completely worth it. I've noticed the grocery bill go down a bit since I buy less meat. I love having my freezer stocked with good, local cuts of meat. I also feel good about supporting local farms through this. Lastly, and some people might not be particular about their meat, but eating hormone and antibiotic free meat from animals that are pasture raised and grass fed is something that's very important to me. That alone, makes the CSA completely worth the cost and the monthly trip to the farmer's market.

If you're interested in the effect of hormones in your meat, here's a little snap shot of what they do, Click Here. The website has great information about the dangers and concerns about antibiotics and hormones in your meat. Also, a great film that changed the way we eat in my house..Food Inc. For more information on the film, visit the film's website, or click HERE

And....if you're interested in finding a CSA near you, go to or click HERE

1 comment:

  1. Hi Holly! You're one of my Blog Love blogs for February! I look forward to getting to know you! We joined a co-op this year for the first time too, and it was wonderful. Ours was only for the growing season though (May-Oct) so I've really been missin' it. Can't wait for spring!