Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Braucher's Sunshine Harvest Farm - a Meat CSA!

In the dead of winter, when the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares stopped coming from Harmony Valley Farm, this City Girl had the delight of still feeling like she could support local farm fresh food with a meat CSA! Yup, you heard that right M-E-A-T CSA! And boy do I love it! It comes from Braucher's Sunshine Harvest Farm. Unlike a veggie CSA there is no sign-up deadline. You can sign up whenever you want for full or half shares and prepay for a 3-month or 6-month time frame.

A full share ($100/mo) includes:

  • 2 whole frozen chickens (8 lbs.)
  • 2 dozen eggs
  • 4 lbs. of lean ground beef
  • 6 lbs. of a variety of meats (beef & pork; roasts, steaks, stew cuts, kabobs, fajita meat, bacon, sausage, ham, etc.)

You have the option to omit pork if you wish.

A 1/2 share is approximately 10 lbs. of meat and eggs (half of the items listed for the full share above).

There are many things for this City Girl to love about our meat CSA. Here are a few:

  1. I am able to enjoy organic, pastured, grass-fed and sustainably raised LOCAL meat!
  2. I don't have to agonize over the seemingly expensive similarly raised meats at the Co-op. I pick up my share each month (which is always PLENTY for our family) and figure out what to make based on what we received.
  3. I love, love, love having the large roasts they occasionally put in our share. They can be cooked easily (slow cooker, pressure cooker) and make enough meat that I can usually make a second meal out of the leftover meat for our small family. Two for one!
  4. I love, love, love, love, love that they are so responsive to personal requests! When our twins were born I knew we'd have little time for cooking for the first month or two, or at least not enough time to make use of ALL of the meat in our share. So I asked them if they could include some *gasp* more processed meats in our order for a couple of months. We got delicious brats, hot dogs, bacon, summer sausage and the like for a while. It was great!
  5. And my favorite of all - an excuse to take a trip across the river to Minneapolis for the pickup.

    In the summers it's at the Mill City Farmer's Market. I take my four-year-old, park the car at a park 'n ride on the light rail and ride the train to the market which is just a BLAST for him. We check out the market, get some lunch, hear some live tunes (yes, there's live music!) and enjoy the scenic river sometimes even taking a walk on the nearby Stone Arch Bridge. What a wonderful monthly outing.

    In the winters it's at the indoor farmer's market held at Local D'Lish in downtown Minneapolis. Such a blast to have a smaller winter version of a farmer's market. Lots of local vendors there often sampling their goods.

Want to check it out? Visit Braucher's Sunshine Harvest Farm online to read more.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Green Adventures Plus Two! Oh And Cloth Diapers Too!

Boy, those "couple of weeks" off referenced in my last post were sure an understatement! That said, I promised to come back so here I am!

First of all, I have to say, I do believe we have got the cutest little twin boys in the world. We are so blessed. And they actually SLEEP! Still, there is little time for much in the way of any fancy sorts of green endeavors. I am still keeping up with our CSAs and love them, but aside from that and the usual recycling my green-ness has been a bit pathetic!

One new effort that is successfully underway though is the cloth diaper experiment. We have been using Do Good Diapers cloth diaper service and it is F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S! Couldn't be easier. Seriously. And adding a few more diapers to cover two babies instead of just one is really only a few more bucks a month. So for little more than the cost of disposables for a singleton, we get enough cloth diapers PLUS the laundering for TWINS! Like I said: F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!

The process couldn't be easier. Do Good Diapers drops off a set of diapers once a week. We use them, putting the dirty ones in a diaper pail - with the dirty business inside and all . We set them out on the front doorstep the following week for them to pick up and they leave behind a new batch of clean ones. What a cinch!

Now for those of you like this City Girl you might be wondering, "Yeah, but do they work as good as disposables?" "Do they leak?" "Aren't they a pain to put on?" Well, since we used disposables on our singleton and I have experience with both, I'm here to give you the full City Girl scoop.


  1. No more diaper rash (okay there was that once when the twins were sick...)
  2. No more poop blowouts - really!
  3. Half the price of disposables for twins! Or about the same for singleton! Or even cheaper if you launder them yourself!
  4. No guilty conscious about adding to the landfill and no need for that extra large garbage bin you otherwise need during the baby years!
  5. Earlier potty training (or so they say - will report on that one in a year or two!)


  1. They do seem to take up more space in the diaper bag (especially noticeable when trying to pack for two!)
  2. It takes about 5 seconds longer to put them on.
  3. When you're out and about you have to lug the dirty cloth diapers around with you in the diaper bag til you get home.

I have to say, looking at the lists, the pros FAR outweigh the cons! One thing I didn't put on the list because it could be a pro OR a con, is the big-round-cloth-diaper-butt-syndrome. Cloth diapers are much bulkier than disposables. But for us, this is actually a pro! I have no earthly idea how our twins would keep pants on without their big cloth diaper butts. They're so skinny they'd fall right off!

I guess the biggest surprise to this City Girl about using cloth is that it really is not any harder than using disposables. Yes, I am kind of resentful when we're out for the entire day and I wind up with a huge bag of dirty diapers in my diaper bag. BUT compare that to the experience of going through those dirty diaper blowouts we had with disposables? I'll take cloth thank you very much!!!

And I'm just thrilled about the financial savings. Before I began my green initiatives I thought that being green was more costly than not being green. So I'm psyched to find yet another way it actually SAVES me money! Can't beat that, can ya?

If you're like I was and on the fence about whether or not to try cloth, see if you have a local diaper service and if they offer any starter or trial packages. It was a great no-commitment way for us to try things out. We got diaper covers and a diaper pail on loan so we really had to make no investment whatsoever until our package ran out at 12 weeks. By then we were sure we wanted to stick with cloth and had already made an investment in diaper covers that worked better for our little guys skinny legs. Couldn't have worked out better.

To close, I'll share a photo of our happy boys sporting their cloth.