I’m thinking about participating in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program this summer.
As I looked into what it is all about, I realized that there is a lot to consider. It is a commitment to yourself and to a farmer. It is a commitment to eating healthy and supporting a local business.
As with everything, there are pros and cons. But before I talk about those, let’s take a brief look at what a CSA is.
What is Community Supported Agriculture?
In case you are not familiar with what a CSA is, it is when you subscribe to buy produce from a local farm. You agree to pay a certain amount and for a number of weeks, the farmer gives you produce from the farm on a predetermined schedule. They are essentially selling shares of their farm to the public. It is all seasonal foods, locally grown. When you pick up your CSA, the box will be full of fresh foods, nutritious goodies that are available at that time.
Pros and Cons of a CSA
The great part for you is that you know you’ll be receiving fresh, local, seasonal produce. You know the farmer who grew it. You don’t have to make extra runs to the store for your fruits and veggies. AND you sometimes get veggies or fruits that you never experienced before! New treats to enjoy 🙂
For the farmer, it’s a good deal because they have a ready sale. They also don’t have to worry about having to sell the produce at a local farmers’ market. This cuts down on marketing expenses.
One down side is that you generally do not get to decide what will be in your box, or how much. Some might find all the produce overwhelming. The other is that the consumer really is “sharing” in the farm. The farmer of course wants to stuff the CSA box to the top, but if it is a bad growing season there may not be enough to fill the box. By purchasing a CSA, you are truly part of a community supporting an agriculture program.
I’m sure there are other pros and cons, but these are “the big ones”. Fresh, local produce for you on a timely basis, but sometimes all that goodness can be overwhelming. For the farmer – a sale for his produce, but the worry of not having enough to share with everyone.
And there is of course other things to consider, like the different types CSA programs available and the cost. I promise I will cover those points in a blog next week.
To learn more about what Community Supported Agriculture is all about, you can visit www.csacoalition.org
Need Help With Your CSA Box?
Do you have any CSA recipes you’d like to share or are looking for to help you cook up your fresh goodies? Feel free to reach out to me through the contact form on the right or on my Contact page. I’d be happy to speak with you.
And don’t forget, if you aren’t sure of what you are doing in the kitchen but want to eat healthy, you can sign up for my FREE Cooking Basics how-to-tips! You’ll get an email every week for an entire year. That’s 52 helpful kitchen tips! Everything from how to make the perfect fried egg to different ways to prepare vegetables and how to freeze those fruits & veggies you find at the market 🙂
Enjoy and Be Healthy!