CSA is a way for locals to support their local food growers and producers but subscribing to a set price per season (or month) in return for a weekly delivery of produce. I’ve written about CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in 2009. Back then I wasn’t in a hurry to sign on because of lack of control over what we received. 3 years on, I appreciate the concept more. CSA is a great way to get variety into your weekly meals with local, seasonal and organic produce. It connects local growers and their communities together in the most efficient way possible. CSA usually involves fruit and vege, but there is also CSA for meat and eggs, and CSF which stands for Community Supported Fishery.
In the summer, I adore my walks two to three times a week to the various local markets to buy fresh food. But now that it’s winter, the days are short and cold and it’s dark by the time I get home from work. No part of me wants to leave home and walk in the the dark to get food. It was time to trial some local CSA. So this month, we are trying out OOOOBY.
OOOOBY stands for Out Of Our Own Backyards and is currently running only in Auckland but hopes to extend to other parts of the country as it gains momentum. Conceived on always-sunny Waiheke Island almost 3 years ago, it now connects over 4000 food growers with over 200 Aucklanders. You can join up either as a buyer, a grower or both. OOOOBY is extending to the Gold Coast in Australia so if you’re in that area, keep your eyes peeled.
Their boxes range from $27.90 for the original box up to $42 for the family box. You can even get fruit only or vege only boxes if you prefer. Each week, you receive one or more of their various boxes plus delicious add-ons including bread, honey, relish, juice, coffee or free-range eggs. You can even opt out of up to 3 items so if there are any fruit or vege you do not like, you’ll never see them in your OOOOBY box. Delivery to your door (or nominated address) is just $2 or if you add-on 1 item, delivery is free.
You subscribe for a minimum of 1 month and pre-pay in advance. If you choose to get add-ons each week, this will eat through your tab faster. OOOOBY are also flexible so if you find that you want to change your mind about anything, you can just email them and get it sorted.
This week our CSA box included:
- Garlic (Self Certified Organic)
- Red Skinned Turnip (Self Certified Organic)
- Carrots (Conventional Sprays)
- Fennel (Certified Organic)
- Brown Onions (Certified Organic)
- Silverbeet (Certified Organic)
- Agria Potatoes (Certified Organic)
- Italian Parsley (Certified Organic)
- Newstead Gold Apples (Conventional Sprays)
- Mandarins or Naval Oranges (BioGro Certified)
- Green Kiwifruit (Certified Organic)
We also added a loaf of ciabatta.
The Koala and I aren’t big on fruit, but we hope we can handle 3 varieties a week.
OOOOBY are all about community and social goodness and you can even volunteer your time in exchange for an OOOOBY box. They need packers and people to deliver boxes, so if that sounds like you or someone you know it could be a great way to get fresh food and meet some stellar people doing good things.
By the way
I am in no way affiliated with OOOOBY and we paid for our box and add-ons with our own hard earned money. This is a review and not an advertisement. But if you would like to join OOOOBY, contact me about their their refer-a-friend scheme and we’ll get a free loaf of bread each. Your choice of kumara sourdough, ciabatta, mixed grain or even gluten free. Choice!