Thursday, September 21, 2006
More Bang for Your Buck: Organic Produce
Feeding your family fruits and vegetables is not only challenging, itís costly. However, there is a way to save without going to the supermarket. In tonight's More Bang For Your Buck, we found a program where shopping organic is less expensive.
WSVN -- Tasty tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, luscious lettuce -- Jen Karetnick likes to eat healthy.
Jen Karetnick: "I also tend to think it's just a more flavorful way to live."
But she knows produce can be pricey at the supermarket.
So to cut her costs, Jen joined a program that lets her buy most of her veggies from a local farm.
Jen Karetnick: "I think what it comes down to is $25 per week. We're getting this bounty of vegetables, it's actually a good size box."
The program is called Community Supported Agriculture or CSA. In South Florida, it runs every November through April. But, not only are you saving money on fresher food, you're also helping the local economy.
Margie Pikarski: "You give your money upfront before the season begins. The farmer takes the money and buys seeds, fertilizer, equipment, whatever it is you need to get the farm going."
Margie Pikarski owns Bee Heaven Farm, which is located outside of Homestead.
Her farm offers a large selection of certified organic fruits and vegetables.
To join the CSA, members pay her upfront $580 for a full share, $350 for half a share.
Then, on Saturdays, they don't go to the farm. Instead, the farm comes to them.
Margie Pikarski: "When you sign up, you pick a site close to where you live, and every week you go at the appointed time and pick up your share."
You just never know what you will get.
Margie Pikarski: "When the harvest time begins you receive back every week a supply of vegetables, whatever it is that is ready to harvest that week."
However, there are risks involved.
If the crops are damaged by the storms, your share could be less.
Margie Pikarski: "We stuck it out, and we were actually able to supply the full season, which ended then very late last year. Basically, what happens is we work with Mother Nature."
Jen is looking forward to some creative cooking. Best of all, she knows every meal she makes is different because every delivery is different.
And what she doesn't use, she can freeze.
Jen Karetnick: "But it's not a supermarket, you can't put in your order and say, 'Everyone on this farm, give me what I want.' It's a gamble, and if you're not willing to take the gamble, then it's not right for you. You have to take what comes."
If you are interested in joining the CSA program, this week is your last chance to sign up.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Bee Heaven Organic Farm