Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great way to support your local farmer and keep fresh vegetables on the table. Most CSA‘s work something like this:
Families (or single folk) buy a “share” (or two if you’re a large family)- ranging in price from say $400.00 to $800.00+ and each week you meet at a pick up location for your box of vegetables and fruits. Most CSA shareholders pay in installments, some take advantage of work-share options, and all pay a down payment of some sort. And that’s in part the beauty of CSA- because buyers pay the farmer upfront she can estimate how much to plant.
CSA farmers provide the shareholders with excellent produce- fresh off the plant. Many invite participants to visit the farm, help out, and learn from the farmer. It’s the next best thing to growing your own food.
There are dozens of CSA‘s here in Rhode Island and throughout the US. They usually start selling shares in February and can sell out in March or April, so if you and your family are interested in a locavore diet, but have too little land, or too many other things going on to plant your own garden.
In college, I was part of a CSA, and each week my roommates and I designated someone to head over to the farm and get our box of food. We made soups and salads, casseroles and all sorts of delicious homegrown meals which were gobbled down in no time. We all enjoyed having fresh grown food. Now I grow my own food, but I sincerely appreciate and support the effort of communities to bring together people and sustainable, healthy food.
So, if you are interested in learning about your local CSA programs here are a few links that might help get ya started!
Chalked full of great information Local Harvest speaks of “real food. real farmers. real community” there’s also an abundance of gardening information here.
Those curious about biodynamic CSA‘s and/or farming check out the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association. There’s also information for home gardeners interested learning this approach.
Or visit ATTRA, a great resource for local food initiatives.
Bottom line is the greenest way to eat is local- saves the environment by lowering transportation costs and emissions, and keeps the money spent on food in the community.