From: CSA

CSA: a cost effective choice

Sometimes you may think a CSA is too expensive for you but CSAs can range in price drastically. In the Edmonton area alone, you can find full season CSAs that cost $320-$790. You can check out and compare CSA programs and prices on the CSA Alberta website.

Currently Edmonton only has 9 CSA programs. While we’re leading the province in Community Supported Agriculture for a city with a population pushing a million, we’d love to see that number increase considering that other Canadian cities our size, like Ottawa, have over 20 CSA programs.

According to Stats Canada the average Canadian household spends $5754/yr on food purchased from grocery stores (as opposed to restaurants). That breaks down to roughly $480/month, which works out to roughly $15.50 a day. When you consider that the average household makes two trips to the grocery store each week, that means each trip costs about $56.

All these numbers are based on the average household size which in Edmonton is 2.5. So lets compare these grocery numbers with our smaller size CSA, which feeds 2-3 people or one really veggie loving person. Our smaller CSA costs $21.33/week. Which breaks down to $3.05 a day. That means setting aside less than $5/day to supply a household with fresh, local veggies. In fact, it’s less than 20% of overall average grocery spending.

That doesn’t even begin to take into consideration the hidden costs of large scale agriculture that supplies most produce. When you look at the environmental, health and social consequences of many conventional agricultural practices, your grocery bill seems a bit more dim.

Whether or not less than a third of your grocery bill should go towards purchasing vegetables, is another whole question regarding healthy lifestyle choices.

Maybe you’re already in the “good food costs good money” camp and are happy to pay for local, fresh food. Maybe you already do your grocery shopping at market and because of that, think the CSA isn’t right for you. Well, we love and rely on our market customers and genuinely enjoy seeing many of the same faces every week. However, because less staff and overhead costs are involved with the CSA, we always ensure that there is more value in the 15 week subscribers CSA bounty each week, compared to market prices. What that means is that while your CSA bounty will always be the same price each week, what you get in it would cost more if you bought those same items from our booth at market.

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