What is a CSA and why should you join one?!

My boyfriend and I joined a CSA this summer and I am so excited!  Okay, so for those of you who don’t know, here is everything you should know about CSA’s:

  • CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture
  • Basically,  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 (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

CSA’s offer a lot of advantages to the community:

  • csa boxFarmers get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, and they receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow.
  • Consumers get to eat ultra fresh, locally grown produce, and are exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking.

Every community’s CSA is different, but for ours, we paid about $350, and we get a 5-10 lb box of fresh, local produce every week, and local eggs every other week for 20 weeks.   That works out to about $20 per week – super affordable and all of our produce is paid for until October! So what was in our first CSA box?  We got:

  • Radishes
  • Chard
  • Lettuce
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Herbs

And this weekend, my boyfriend went to the farmers market and got some local beef, mushrooms and purple potatoes, and we made an amazing crock pot stew! Hint: if you aren’t a fan of radishes, slice them up and throw them in a crock pot with some other veggies.  They soak up all the flavors of the other veggies, and the broth cuts their bite. CSA_box6 Check into your local CSA, it might not be too late to get in on the season!  Just look at that fresh produce 😉

happy farming!

-Juliane, ACSM CEP

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