Community-Supported Agriculture: A Fresh Idea
With spring just around the corner, don’t be surprised if you get a knock on your door from someone from a nearby farm offering to bring fresh produce to your door. You sign up for a membership or subscription, and viola—you receive the freshest produce once a week during growing season while at the same time supporting your local farmer.
Community-supported agriculture (CSA) has been around for decades, but as “fresh” and “organic” become bigger buzzwords among food lovers, CSA’s popularity has boomed. It’s easy to see why. As more and more people learn the benefits of locally grown produce—it’s fresher and often organic, it supports local businesses and it simply tastes great—they’re pitching in to help with growing costs as an investment in the community, and their own health.
Like farming in general, CSA has its risks. As a “share holder” with your local farm, you take the same chances—on a smaller scale, of course—that any farmer does. Translation: no rain, possibly no basket appearing on your doorstep. You all share the risks, but you also reap the reward, together. The tradeoff for the risk you assume is a tighter-knit community, a role in local food production and satisfaction from supporting a local business and contributing to its success. Overall, those who take part in CSA tend to feel a sense of home-grown loyalty and pride—not to mention the healthy boost they’ll feel eating those ultra fresh veggies!
Not sure where to find a CSA farm in your community? LocalHarvest provides a list of these farms, farmers’ markets and more throughout the United States. Most farms offer a list of the types of produce you’ll receive over the course of the season. Your spring bounty might include peas and greens, while a larger summer basket might bring heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and much more. Some even offer a winter produce option. A growing number of farms’ offerings go beyond the usual veggies to include meat, eggs, fruit, flowers—even home-baked bread. Just imagine how delicious our Spinach Frittata with Wheat Germ, Mushroom and Goat Cheese or a spring salad with a light vinaigrette and sprinkle of wheat germ would taste with the freshest greens and veggies. We’re getting hungry already!