Sheila Sobchik

The cost of eating healthy isn’t cheap.

But there are ways for college students to eat more than just fast food, ramen and coffee on a budget.

An alternative is the Cal Poly student-run Organic Farm located on campus behind the dairy unit. The farm offers students a program to buy organic produce without spending their inheritance.

The Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA) allows students and faculty with quarterly subscriptions to receive some of the organic farm’s bounty. This quarter, the farm is offering winter squashes, lettuce, broccoli, onions, arugula, leeks, carrots, parsnips, zucchini, various herbs and other vegetables.

“We use certified organic practices and through the subscription you get the best of what’s available in the county,” farm manager Terry Hooker said. “We bring in what the climate doesn’t allow us to produce, so you can sample produce from local farmers as well.”

According to the CSA, subscribers receive their own “harvest box” – an offering of organic fall bounty reaped by the students. Subscribers can pick up the boxes weekly at the experimental farm. The program runs eight weeks for students, beginning October 3 and ending November 21.

The harvest boxes come in two sizes. The larger size, or “full share,” is a serving of 10 to 12 vegetables designed to feed 3 to 6 people. The “half share” size will provide enough vegetables for at least two people.

The cost to sign up is $128 for students, with an additional $32 charge if they want to receive a dozen eggs each week for the fall quarter. The price of organic vegetables and a dozen free-range eggs is only about $20 per week.

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