Joining a CSA was one of the best decisions we have ever made. Not only has it improved our health and saved us money, but it introduced us to vegetables and fruits we never knew existed! It even helped us in the kitchen, and now we are able to cook a variety of dishes with crazy looking produce (hello Kohlrabi and Romanesco Broccoli)! If you’re curious about CSA’s or considering joining one, I suggest you take a minute and read this post. This information will help you make a good decision and hopefully answer any questions you may have!
WHAT IS A CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. I’ve also heard the phrase community shared agriculture. I like to think of it as an agreement between a customer and a local farm. CSA members or subscribers pay a farm ahead of time for a portion of that farms crop. In return, the member gets a box of produce every week or bi-weekly, depending on the CSA.
BENEFITS OF JOINING A CSA
- Variety in your diet, it will become more seasonal
- You know exactly where your food came from and how old it is
- You don’t have to think about buying fruits and vegetables
- It can save you money (this depends on your location & which CSA you go with)
- Get to know your farmer, and sometimes you can have a say in what they grow
- You’ll expand your recipes
- You’ll lower your carbon foot print
HOW TO FIND CSA IN YOUR CITY…
- Local Harvest is a great resource for finding a CSA, just type in your city, state or zip code, and it will show you a list of CSA’s in your area.
- Another way to find a CSA in your neighborhood is to ask farmers & vendors at your local farmers market; they might have a CSA, but not be advertising it.
- Co-ops and Whole Foods Markets are another great place to ask around at. You’d be surprised, once you start looking for CSA’s they start showing up all over the place.
CAN YOU HANDLE A CSA BOX?
A CSA IS FOR YOU IF…
- You want to eat more local, seasonal food
- You want to eat super fresh produce (most CSA’s harvest and deliver the food to you within 48 hrs)
- You eat a lot of fruits and vegetables (great for plant-based & raw food diets)
- You want to support your local economy
A CSA MIGHT NOT BE FOR YOU IF…
- You don’t want to spend time cooking
- You don’t like to try new things
- You like to know what you are getting ahead of time
- You dislike more vegetables than ones you do
Think a CSA is for you? Here are some things to consider before picking a CSA.