Nutrition experts have long argued that fresh, locally grown, organic produce is by far the best choice for healthy eating. On the other hand, it can seem overwhelming to eliminate the so-called “convenience foods” that are marketed to us at every turn. Can we find a balance between eating healthfully and saving time and money?
With CSA programs such as Harvest 2U, that myth of “either healthy or convenient” is easily shattered. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and operates much like a subscription. Consumers commit to a group of farmers that they will buy a portion of the farms’ produce each week. The family subsequently receives a bounty of fruits and vegetables while supporting their local farmer. With three participating farms and 8 – 14 varieties in every “Harvest,” or box of produce, Harvest 2U makes healthy eating simple and delicious.
While many CSA programs require a one year subscription, Harvest 2U offers a 4 week cycle conveniently billed each month to the client’s checking account or credit card. They offer an easy online sign up form and the client can cancel anytime. As with many CSA programs, Harvest 2U offers a larger box, the “Family Harvest,” and a smaller box, the “Couples Harvest,” and an option of weekly or biweekly pick up. With a gorgeous webpage and active Facebook page, Harvest 2U makes it easy to understand the program and crave the abundance they offer. In addition, they welcome comments on what their participants would like to see in their boxes, thus creating a dialogue between the community and the farmers.
While Harvest 2U offers many features that are similar to other programs, they do pride themselves on offering a couple of unique reasons to partner with their farmers. First, along with staffing many convenient pick up locations throughout the valley, they offer the option of DELIVERY to your door (can I get a yay!?) for a nominal fee. Even more enticing, they will deliver 6 boxes to any one location for free. If you and your neighbors or colleagues decide to participate as a group, you can take advantage of the same amazing produce and have it show up on your doorstep at no charge. Now that sounds like an idea worth talking about in the cul de sac or at the water cooler!
Second, Harvest 2U believes in the principal of “Givers Gain.” They are a purpose driven company that gives back a portion of every purchase to the community. Specifically, Harvest 2U donates one box of fresh produce to the needy for every four that it sells. Imagine that: for every four families that are eating healthier, one hungry family is getting their basic needs met. Harvest 2U has partnered with Community Outreach Team to identify those in need. For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
If we can follow Harvest 2U’s encouragement to save money, eat well, be healthy, protect the environment, buy local and feed the hungry, I submit that we all win by doing good for others while doing good for ourselves.