Our weekly menu depends in large part on what we get in our CSA shares (Community Shared Agriculture, in case you were wondering).
Here’s this week’s:
This is prime CSA season.
We get ours from Taproot Farms, a family-run operation not far from the city. The shares go quickly and they typically fill up before the end of the registration period. In 2013, we were lucky enough to take over a spot after registration had closed from Jarrod and Alison, a couple of cool people who moved to another province. We split our shares between our household and my mother’s, which ensures almost everything gets eaten. Only half of the food we got this week is pictured above. Mom got a whole duck!
For the first year, we got veg shares and fruit shares. If you’re already a share member, you get to pre-register for the next season, so this year we added meat shares. These generally fill up before registration is open to the public. It’s all about the meat. It’s fantastic.
I try not to purchase produce and proteins outside of what we get in our CSA shares. My monthly cost for 50 weeks of share deliveries is $125, most of my food budget. Apart from the local, seasonal produce the farm sends us, I regularly buy bananas, citrus, and avocados. Dairy and eggs are always supermarket purchases for us, and I will occasionally pick up some cheap meat. I try to buy pantry staples in bulk.
If I’m cutting out all convenience food purchases, I want to be able to keep my non-CSA grocery spend to $75 per month, or $18.75 per week. That seems unlikely. I’ve already spent $11 on groceries and it’s only Wednesday.
Could I buy cheaper food in the stores? Yes, but I think the cost:quality ratio is worth it, and it saves me gas and time since I don’t go shopping as much. And there’s no chance of an impulse magazine purchase.