After a year of wanting to join a fruit and veggie co-op, I finally found one that had everything I needed! There are a lot of them out there, and my biggest concerns were cost, variety, and amount of work involved. Many that I found required you to pay for the entire summer up front, which is a big investment, even if it saves you money over time. Others required you to work once per month, which I’m more than willing to do, but I have three kids that would have to tag along. Most of them provide produce from only one local farm, which is great but does cause the shares to lack variety. I was really hoping to find a Co-op or CSA that was all year round and pay per share, and I finally did!!
We have been part of Purple Dragon Organic Produce Co-op for about two months now, and I absolutely love it!! It only costs us $52 every two weeks for approximately 20-30 pounds of fruits and vegetables. They are not all local, but do come straight from small farms as opposed to the giant farms the grocery store gets their produce from. I really enjoy it because the quality of produce is excellent and I still get a great variety. We receive bananas and pineapples sometimes, which we could never get from a solely local CSA. It isn’t enough for the entire two weeks for us, but I have been able to cut my grocery bill down by the amount we pay each week. I’m getting more, better quality produce for the same amount I would normally spend at the store! We also have the option of special ordering things like pastured eggs and olive oil, which is a bonus!
If you live in NJ or the NYC area, I highly recommend you check out the co-op! If you do not, Local Harvest and Eat Local Grown are great resources for finding one close to you!! They also list farmer’s markets:)
Are you part of a co-op or CSA? What’s your favorite thing about it?
Until our next adventure,
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