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5 Reasons You Should Join a CSA this Summer

5 Reasons You Should Join a CSA this Summer

WHAT IS COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE (CSA)?

First things first: CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. I’m so jazzed about CSAs that I want to explain what they are and share with you 5 reasons you should join a CSA this Summer! CSA programs are a way for consumers to support a local farm by purchasing a “share” before the growing season in exchange for farm products later in the season. In purchasing a CSA you are effectively sharing the risk (and rewards!) of the growing season with the farm. During the growing season, subscribers get a weekly or bi-weekly box of sustainably grown farm fresh food – usually produce but also eggs, meat, and other farm products.

5 REASONS YOU SHOULD JOIN A CSA THIS SUMMER

Farm to Field freshness

Is there anything better than a perfectly ripe, freshly picked tomato? Joining a CSA means you have fruits and vegetables at the height of freshness, directly from the farm, grown and processed in a small scale manner. Freshness and quality from sustainable local farms can’t be topped. Knowing how and where my food is coming from is a top priority I don’t have to worry about during CSA season.

Supporting SUSTAINABLE Agriculture

The majority of CSA farms are sustainable organic farms. These farms use sustainable methods of crop rotation and natural pest management to ensure a great product without degrading the environment.
Supporting local farms is a way of voting with your dollar by keeping your food spending away from factory farms.

Affordable

The large share box we purchase averages about $33 per week. For us, that seems perfectly reasonable for a large amount of super-fresh fruits and vegetables. To purchase all the items in our box individually would cost way more than $33 and for me – that’s a big win!  If the CSA share price is too high for one payment, many farms offer a payment plan, so be sure to ask.

Relationship with Farmers

My family has participated in the  Willo’wind Farm CSA program for several years. Willo’wind is an awesome family-run sustainable farm with vegetables, pastured pigs, eggs, free-range chickens and grass-fed beef. Our family feels great supporting a small farm run by great people. A CSA share is more than just an opportunity for fresh organic food, it’s a chance to get to know your farmers – even from the city.

New Foods to Try

How often do you get to eat kohlrabi or try garlic scapes? Most CSA farms grow a huge variety of fruits and vegetables so your box is bound to be full of interesting new foods to try.  Our box can be filled with oodles of kale. kohlrabi or a bumper crop of tomatoes.  I LOVE the challenge of using the lesser known vegetables and the race to use them before they go bad. Batch cooking and preserving are a CSA subscribers best friend!

INGREDIENT GUIDES FOR CSA FOODS

FINDING A CSA NEAR YOU


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8 comments

  1. Your post makes me happy – I am a huge advocate of supporting local farmers. Thanks for describing CSA, and encouraging supporting Sustainable Agriculture. The links you provided are very helpful. Excellent post, Leslie Anne 🙂

  2. Thanks so much for your post, very informative. We are great fans of buying organic and from local vendors at our Farmers market, but have never joined a CSA. Every Saturday morning we visit our Farmers Market, and 33 dollars is not exactly what we spend per week, so joining a CSA maybe will help us save some money!

    • Thanks for your comment Nicoletta! I love visiting the market on the weekends but I find my CSA is a more affordable option. I usually “top up” with other market goodies while I’m picking up my CSA basket. I’d 100% recommend finding a great farm and joining their CSA.

  3. Natalie says:

    I was part of a CSA a couple years back and I loved it, but had to give it up because the drive got to be too much each week. It was always a fun little surprise to see what was in the bin each week, though.

    • Leslie-Anne @ From Pasta to Paleo says:

      I love the surprise! We are lucky enough to have a delivery option for our CSA, thankfully. A drive might be prohibitive for me, too.

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