There are a number of reasons to join a CSA and buy a share in a farm’s harvest. Some people join for the amazingly fresh food. Others enjoy the connection to a specific farm and farmer or just want to support their local food system. Check out our blog to find a reason that just might push you off the fence and into the wonderful world of CSA!
WHAT IS A CSA?
Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is a food production and distribution system that directly connects farmers and consumers. In short: people buy “shares” of a farm’s harvest in advance and then receive a weekly share of the crops as they’re harvested.
The content of each week’s share truly follows the seasons, as everything is grown from seed to seedling, tended, and then harvested right on the farm!
1.Super-Fresh, Locally Grown Produce
When you are a member of a CSA you get your fruits and vegetables at the peak of their season. This means they pack the highest amount of nutrients and the least amount of time in storage. Studies have shown that fresh produce begins losing beneficial nutrients soon after being picked. We harvest the produce for our CSA boxes within a day or two before it’s packed – it’s hard to find that kind of freshness at the supermarket!
2. Experiment with New Fruits and Veggies
Hakurei Turnips. Mizuna. Celeriac. (And bears). Oh my!
You may get some crazy-sounding veggies that you’ve never heard of, but that’s part of the adventure! The best advice for CSA-share cooking is to embrace what you get. Ingenuity is key, and imagination is necessary. But don’t worry! We send out a weekly newsletter with recipe ideas, plus the internet is filled with amazing recipes, so a quick Google search may lead you to your new favorite dish!
3. Know Your Seasons
There is nothing like unpacking a weekly CSA box to get in touch with the seasons and know what grows when. With a CSA membership you know the plot of land on which the food was grown, which is pretty cool. CSAs help you learn to look forward to the foods as they are harvested naturally, in their own time. Do you know when zucchini is in season, or when a cantaloupe ripens? Modern supermarkets have trained us to shop without seasons and getting back that connection to the land and the seasons is immensely satisfying.
4. Save Money
While a CSA subscription may feel like a lot of money up front (and it is), you end up only spending around $30 per week on vegetables for 15 weeks (plus we offer a payment plan option to help make it even more affordable). Also, since your vegetables are fresher than fresh, they will often last longer than store-bought produce, leading to less waste.
5. Connect with Your Farmers
When you become a CSA member, you get to know the people who grow your food. You may even get to shake their hands and high five them for all of their amazing work. When you support your local farmers, you ensure dollars are circulating within our own community. Big Ag in this country receives more federal assistance than do small farms. When you pay for a CSA in advance you are sending a fabulous message that you want to see local food, small farmers, and the local economy thrive.