It’s Tuesday, which means I’m writing about my family’s health transformation for my Transformational Tuesday series. Today in Transformational Tuesdays its all about farm shares.
In the past I wrote about how we cut out soda and other flavored beverages (including milk), how we gave up fast food and eating out except for dates, and how we went vegetarian once a week. After we decided to become vegetarians once a week we joined a local farm share, or CSA. I realize not everyone lives in a place where there are CSA’s, but many live close enough to make this post relevant. Today, many more local farms are offering offsite shares than ever before. For instance, our farm located in Western Massachusetts also has a pick up site in Boston and Cape Cod, making it even easier to have farm fresh organic food every week.
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We chose to do a farm share initially out of economic worries. Three years ago our farm share was $450 for a full share. That included 26 weeks of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. We routinely received over 20 pounds of produce a week. That meant we were getting organic produce for under $1 a pound. That is super cheap. We figured even if we didn’t eat all of it, it would still be worth while to sign up.
Our first year of farm share membership we split it with another family because we didn’t think we could eat all that food. We were mostly right. Although we had gone veg once a week, and were incorporating more vegetables during the week, we still had some loss. There were things like kole rabi and fennel that we simply were unprepared to deal with. There was also a lot of strawberries and spinach, carrots and tomatoes, which we were familiar with and loved as a family. Every week we were getting more vegetables, and it felt like a challenge to not waste them. We went from store bought salsa to homemade pico de gallo. From simply mashing our sweet potatoes, to making soups and bisques.
“I am unsure if we saw any direct weight loss that first farm share summer and fall. We probably didn’t. What we did see, though, was a change in our attitude towards food.”
As a foodie, I hated seeing great food go to waste. As a penny-pincher Sarah hated seeing our money rot in the fridge. By the end of the CSA season we were using all of our produce every week, and decided the next year we needed a full share to ourselves. It simply made sense. Our trajectory was towards healthy eating, and a full share at our CSA would mean even more fresh produce, which in turn meant less processed foods and animal protein.
I am unsure if we saw any direct weight loss that first farm share summer and fall. We probably didn’t. What we did see, though, was a change in our attitude towards food. We also transformed our kids from picky eaters to children who were excited for the green beans they picked, and food explorers who couldn’t wait to figure out what an eggplant was.
Getting a farm share set us up for the next stage in our transformation without crushing us under an unrealistic burden. Looking back, besides cutting out soda, I don’t know if there was a more pivotal point in my journey than the farm share. Sarah has a few other parts of her story I will be sharing over the week, but she, too, says the farm share was an important bench mark.
If you can find a CSA, get it. It is economical, will push you to eat healthier, and will expand your palate in ways you are not even aware of.