Saturday, July 17

CSA Boxes: Not just for Hippies

CSA shares, also referred to as “Hippie Boxes” by my loving husband, are exactly that…big ol’ boxes of organic fruits & veggies, harvested fresh by your local farmer and delivered to you that same morning. The idea is simple: support your local farmer by purchasing fresh, organic and seasonal veggies straight from the field; sharing in the risks (bad weather & insects) and rewards (boxes overflowing with veggies that taste way better than those available at the grocery store), all while you relish in the fact that you’re being health conscious, environmentally responsible and actually supporting your local community.

The Facts:
So, what’s “in it” for you?  Obviously the cost of joining a CSA can vary based on your location, but here in Nashville, a half share CSA membership from the farm of your choice will cost about $400 (which I think is a perfect amount for 2 people).  That breaks-down to about $27 for a half bushel (pictured below) of incredibly fresh organic vegetables delivered every two weeks throughout the season (typically late spring through early fall).  I realize $400 is a scary number at first, but trust me; the benefits of eating and cooking with nutritious, farm-fresh veggies will far out weigh the cost.

The Catch:
You get what you get.  You don’t get to choose what’s in your box, so when the strawberry fields quit producing huge red delicious berries, there are simply no more strawberries in your CSA box until next year.  Another catch is that some veggies seem to never stop producing…like say, kale.  Oh, kale.  You may or may not get really sick of kale. And that may or may not be because it tends to fill a portion of your box. Every. Single. Week.

The Downside:
You're committed. Bad weather can destroy crops and once you’ve joined a CSA, there are no refunds. For example, I felt confident that during our first year as a member of the Delvin Farms CSA, there was no way our farm would suffer a catastrophic event, because frankly, that kind of stuff doesn’t happen…right?  Enter Nashville’s 1,000-year flood. Just weeks after the first seedlings were planted, Nashville suffered a devastating flood that not only destroyed thousands of homes, swept away cars and buried entire schools; but also significantly damaged the crops at our beloved new farm.  Now, I have a confession.  My initial thought was, “Well, I guess we’ll get our money back.”  Then my conscience kicked in and I remembered that the Isaacson household made a commitment.  We wanted a real connection to our community and our food, and floods (whether we realized it or not) are part of the deal.  Luckily, Delvin Farms had seedlings saved in a greenhouse for this exact reason and they hardly missed a beat!  After a couple weeks of apparently invincible flood-resistant kale, we began to receive hippie boxes overflowing with veggies.

The Benefits:
The sweet life. Preserve the taste, complexity and (dare I say) sensuality of food, all while supporting your local community and getting back to the basics of life.  And if committing to a CSA seems too much, too expensive or you just don’t quite understand the point; I implore you to start small and spend a Saturday morning exploring your local Farmer’s Market.  I promise you’ll feel inspired in some way and maybe, just maybe, after trying a fresh-squeezed basil lemonade, grabbing a shitake mushroom log (who knew you could grow them yourself?) and shaking hands with the kind folks that actually nurture and harvest your food…you may just be inspired to walk away with a half-bushel of your very own hippie box.

If you’re interested in finding CSA shares in your community, go to  It’s a great resource on local artisans, farmer’s markets and specialty items in your area.

If you’re interested in learning more about Delvin Farms (our amazing CSA here in Nashville), visit them at or on Facebook HERE.

I'm off to the farmer's market...have a beautiful weekend! x


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I don't necessarily exchange links unless I know the site and love it. You are more than welcome to use my link on your page though. Thank you for reading my blog!