What is CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.
There are several ways of supporting farmers in your area. Among these are large farmer’s markets with a variety of vendors, local grocery-style markets with produce from local farms, and small family farm stands found along the road. The CSA farming model, that we discovered over 5 years ago, is one where you purchase a seasonal share (membership) directly from the farmer before the growing season. The share is for a set number of weeks of their harvest of farm-fresh vegetables and/or fruits.
There are different versions of CSAs so you have to do some research and find one that is best for you and your family’s wants and needs. Our present CSA is a Certified Organic Farm and offers 27 weeks of their produce.
The first CSA we got involved with dropped off our weekly “share” of produce at a designated location and time near our home. While the current one we use offers this too, we actually enjoy going to their 18-acre farm, near the base of Blue Mountain, to select our weekly produce in their barn and then participate in their “U-Pick” plots which offer various vegetables, herbs & flowers for us to pick. We enjoy it and always have fun!
Over the years, we have appreciated many benefits of our membership. First and foremost we know the farmer and where our food is coming from. We know it’s organic and free of chemicals on the veggies and in the soil in which it’s grown. An organic farm was important to us as we believe it’s beneficial to our health.
We also think the freshly picked produce is more nutritious and tastes better to us. In addition to this, we’ve enjoyed adding more vegetables and fruits to our diet, learning about vegetables not in our usual routine (like garlic scapes, purple dragon tongue beans & edamame!).
All in all, we understand we are supporting local farmers and small farms in our area and we particularly enjoy providing first-hand farming experiences for our grandchildren. It has been truly enjoyable to watch the boys select tomatoes, peppers, snap peas. and sunflowers directly from the plant. (BTW – a quart container for collecting also makes a great hat on a sunny day.)
How do I find a CSA near me?
You can find a CSA near you by searching the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Agriculture Marketing Service site and entering your zip code in the CSA area. It’s a great way to add to your healthy living lifestyle and some nature-loving, “farm” beauty, fresh air and sun to your day!
Some wonderful examples of produce we have received through our local CSA:
We are looking forward to another year at The Good Farm with Aimee and John Good & Heidi, of course! We appreciate all that you do…your dedication and hard work!
Another local farm we support and enjoy along the way home from our CSA is Crystal Spring Farm. A delicious place to stop and get chocolate milk to go & fresh-made ice cream in the summer! Life is Good!