CSA season is seriously one of my favorite times of the year! Seriously, cue the music: “It’s the most wonderful time….” My love of CSA season is real. For me, CSA season runs from May to mid-November and I love it!
The simple definition of CSA is Community Supported Agriculture. LocalHarvest defines the process like this: “…a farmer offers a certain number of ‘shares’ to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share and in return receive a box of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.”
I’m a part of a small group of individuals/families that purchase from a small Amish farm (they use a manual plow!) about an hour & a half from our fair city. Two families that participate in the CSA facilitate pickups and all of the money related to the CSA. We are even invited at one point during the summer to check out the farm where all of the shares originate.
I think it’s really incredible to KNOW the source of your food and how it’s grown. I also enjoy the whole “community” thing that goes along with it since we get to meet the farmers and the other people who have shares in the CSA. It’s such a cool thing!
Here are some of the reasons that I’ll always choose a CSA when I can:
- It’s cost effective for me. I’m not paying a store, just the farmer who is producing the food. My weekly cost comes out to about $16 a week for all farm fresh and organic vegetables. Balanced with my other grocery costs, I think it’s well worth it.
- I’m supporting a small business!
- My CSA doesn’t accept credit cars for purchase, only cash and checks. That helps keep costs lower for them and for us, plus keeps me from racking up any more charges on my cards.
- The food is picked from the ground on the day I pick it up – can’t top that type of fresh!
- There’s always a variety! Sometimes we get things I’ve never ever tried before. Who knows what to make with kohlrabi?! There are vegetables, fruits, herbs, molasses, flours, honey, you name it!
- I get ideas for weekly meal planning. We usually know about a week before what we’ll get in the shares for the week and I can plan my grocery deliveries.
- The CSA helps me to eat healthier. I can’t let veggies go to waste so I’m always finding ways to eat them all up! Spinach in smoothies, salads for days, veggies portioned for the freezer – I’m always getting creative!
I’ll say it again, I think it’s so incredible to know where you food comes from. A CSA is good for you, good for the local economy, good for your wallet, and better for the environment.
Have you ever tried a CSA? Would you like to?
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