Happy May! It’s hard to believe that we’re entering the heart of spring and already starting to think forward to summer and the bounty that is to come.

We’ve talked quite a bit about home gardening in the last couple of months, and now I want to switch gears and think about the other ways that we can get fresh produce, especially this time of year, such as community gardens, CSAs and farmer’s markets.

This month we’ll be talking about some of these topics and today I wanted to tap into our amazing community to hear about your thoughts and experiences with these venues. If you have experience with any of these ways of buying produce, I’d love to hear how it has impacted you and your family (and your kids if you have them).

Photo by daquellamanera

Community Gardens

Last year, Stephanie Langford wrote an awesome overview of what community gardens are and why you might want to consider joining one. This year, I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments if you’ve been a part of a community garden.

Here are some questions to get you thinking about your experiences:

  • What made you look into joining a community garden?
  • Was it expensive to join?
  • Did you need to get on a waiting list?
  • How much space did you get?
  • What did you grow?
  • What were your experiences with the gardeners?
  • Have you continued using the garden?
  • What impact did you see the garden having on the community?


We’ve mentioned CSAs quite a bit on Simple Organic already, including Katie Fox’s great overview, CSA: Community Supported Agriculture and my own experiences talking about farm visits.

I’m looking forward to sharing a little bit with you this month about what I’ve learned being a CSA member for the last few years, but today I’d love to hear your experiences about things such as:

  • Is your CSA year-round or seasonal?
  • How has belonging to a CSA impacted your eating/cooking?
  • What’s the most unique item you’ve received in a box?
  • What’s your relationship with the farm like? Have you visited it?
  • What have you learned about produce and farming by being a member?
  • How does the price of belonging to a CSA compare to grocery shopping for you?
Photo by empracht

Farmer’s Markets

Ever since I joined a CSA, I spend less time at farmer’s markets, but I still thoroughly enjoy them, for the face-to-face contact with the farmers and also for the full experience that they offer.  I love this nostalgic post written by Katie Kimball last year and this helpful guide by Amy Thompson on getting the most out of your farmer’s markets.

Here are some questions to get you thinking about your own experiences with farmer’s markets:

  • Is your local farmer’s market seasonal or year-round?
  • How are the prices compared to supermarket produce?
  • Do you have access to other local goods besides produce?
  • What else do you enjoy about farmer’s markets besides buying produce?
  • Can you find organic produce grown locally?
  • Do most of your farmers come from the local area?

Keep in mind that my questions are just some kindling to get you thinking. I’d love to hear about any of your experiences with community gardens, CSAs and farmer’s markets. If you have a more lengthy comment on your experiences, feel free to send me an email instead of leaving a comment here!