Is a Farm Food Basket Worth the Price?

Last week, I got an exciting Facebook message.

A family was heading away for a week on holidays, and they offered us their weekly farm food basket. Score. Super score.

I graciously accepted their generous offer and on Wednesday afternoon, I met the farmer at a prescribed location in town and she handed me the basket. Wowza.

Veggie Basket

There is a lot of food in the basket. And by basket I mean laundry basket. Here’s what we got:

  • two loaves of homemade, artisan bread
  • package of ground beef
  • package of bacon
  • package of sausages
  • one dozen eggs
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • turnips (peeled and already cut)
  • beets
  • turtle beans
  • quinoa
  • four large potatoes
  • onions

We received the adult share basket, which is $100 per week.

The company who provides the basket is Heritage Harvest Farm. They are officially recognized as the first and only year round full diet CSA in Ontario. Their meat and eggs are organic and it’s obvious they put a lot of sweat into their baskets (not literally, of course). I’m in love with their website and could spend hours reading their blog, recipes and information related to their business, which is located in Jasper.

Toby and I discussed the value to signing up for the basket. Our current monthly grocery budget is $600/month, which includes diapers and soon-to-be-eliminated formula. We almost always go over budget, but because of my January Focus, we’ve worked really hard to stick to our budget. Last month we did just that!

If we took part in the basket, it would eat up $400 of our budget. Can we buy the remaining necessities on $50/week? Or, would we have to increase our monthly budget?

Last summer we took part in a veggie basket program. For $11 a week, it was worth the price and we enjoyed discovering what we’d find in our basket each week. That said, we wasted a lot of vegetables throughout those months and I felt restricted to what was supplied.

We have to outweigh the pros and cons.

PROS:

  • We’d be supporting a local farm
  • The meat and eggs are organic
  • We would consistently have healthy food in our home

(Potential) CONS:

  • The price may exceed our budget
  • The farm (understandably) requires a one-year commitment. If times get tough or we end up with triplets for our next pregnancy (I’d call them Tina, Amy and Kristen), then how would we make it financially work?
  • Would we waste a lot of the food?
  • Could we purchase the same amount of food for less money?

After having the basket for one day, there’s one thing I do know for sure: That artisan bread is like crack.

Artisan Bread

I’ve already slammed through the two loaves. The eggs are delicious, the meat looks really good and the veggies are gorgeous.

Essentially, I think it comes down to this:

Do you want to support a local initiative while giving your family good, healthy food, but comes with a potentially increased budget? And, can you afford that increased budget?

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What are your thoughts on this? Would you do the farm basket? Would it exceed your budget, or would you make sacrifices elsewhere in your grocery budget?

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