If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where there is a good CSA farm do it!
Generally speaking, CSAs are small farms which have subscribers or members. Subscribers pay for their share before planting and receive small portions of the harvest throughout the season. It is a win-win for those of us who enjoy eating fresh, local and responsibly grown produce as well as for small area farmers trying to grow their businesses.
The benefits of participating in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) are numerous!
- Regularly eat fresh, varied and delicious local produce (mostly organic)
- Eat more produce, better tasting and better quality produce than anything you could get at the grocery store and save money!
- Eating seasonally brings new ideas and creative inspiration
- You know where your food comes from! You get to know the families who provide you with the food you eat.
- Supports local, usually organic farmers who use small scale, responsible practices.
- An inexhaustive list of environmental benefits include a reduction in the use of pesticides, carbon (from transporting food from long distances), better water management, healthier livestock, etc.
A few days before I pick up my share, Farmer Amy sends an email to everyone so we can plan on what is ready to be harvested and brought to our tables. It also gets us thinking about meal planning. Here is a sample of the emails we receive giving us a heads up for the week: