Over the past year, I’ve heard more and more about CSAs. I think they are a fabulous idea. Let me explain…
A CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is when a farmer (or group of farmers) offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. The share consists of a box of freshly grown vegetables and fruits, but other farm products may be included, like eggs or honey, etc. Interested consumers purchase a share (like signing up for a membership) and in return receive a box of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.
I’ve been wanting to participate in a CSA for a long time, and using this fabulous website, LOCAL HARVEST found a couple in my area.
I contacted New Moon Rising, which was listed as a CSA in my area. They have 25 shares that they dish out and 2 ‘sessions’ you can sign up for. The first is May-July, and the second is August-October. It costs $240 for each 12 week session, making the cost $20/week.
Since I have never done a CSA before, I emailed Suzanne and asked her what I could expect in a weekly basket. She promptly responded, which I appreciated. She said she couldn’t tell me exactly what would be in each box, but…
Last year, a typical weeks box in summer might contain 2-3 lbs heirloom tomatoes (that was generally 4-5), 6 ears of corn, 1 lb of green beans, assorted herbs, 2 bell peppers, several sweet nonbell peppers, hot chilis (those only went to people who wanted them), fresh dug potatoes, 2-3 squash or zuchinni, 1 cantaloupe, 4-6 cukes, eggplant (if available). In season, we additionally had blueberries, blackberries or peaches.
WOW! All that, fresh & local, for only $20 a week? I told her my check was in the mail (and it is).
Here’s why I am so excited to finally be able to participate in a CSA:
- Eating fresh picked vegetables that didn’t travel days in a truck to get here- more nutrients!
- Supporting local farmers. This is something I feel strongly about.
- Trying new foods. I’ve never cooked an eggplant, but if one shows up in my CSA box, I’ll be excited to venture out and try a new recipe with my new vegetable.
- Learning more about how my food is grown. I like the idea of talking to the farmer directly and letting them tell me about what they used (and didn’t use) to grow the food.
I really can’t explain how giddy I am to pick up my first box of the season!
What do you think of CSAs?
Have you been a member of one before? Why or why not?