CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.
CSA is a way for people to directly support farmers in the area, actually see where their food grows, and know the farmers who grow it. Members pay in full at the start of the season in exchange for a weekly portion (“share”) of the farm’s vegetables for the duration of the growing season.
CSA is fantastic because it cuts down the overhead for farmers, giving members access to the freshest product with the least mark-up of any buying arrangement by eliminating the middle man (grocery stores, distributors, aggregators). Farmers receive their capital at the beginning of the season, when we need it most.
Is a CSA Share Right For You?
There are many reasons why people love having a CSA share and a few why people do not. Some CSA members have told us their biggest challenges were using all their produce each week or remembering to come pick up their shares. Here’s a short list to help you decide if getting a share with our farm is right for you:
- want to eat more produce or already include vegetables as an important part of your diet
- enjoy improvising and/or making creative substitutions when cooking
- put food up by canning, freezing, dehydrating, or fermenting
- love all kinds of vegetables and/or are always up for trying something new
- want to eat fresh, chemical-free, locally grown food without breaking the bank
…we think you’d enjoy our CSA.
- mostly eat out and/or don’t have time for cooking
- enjoy or feel more comfortable cooking with an exact recipe
- dislike many vegetables and/or are a “picky” eater
- go out of town a lot
…we think you’d enjoy the farmer’s market.
Are you new to CSA? Here are some tips and tricks from our members:
- Have a plan: a little weekly meal-planning can go a long way. When you pick up your share, plan a way to use each item.
- Process your produce: after you pick up your share, clean and prep your veggies right away so they will be ready-to-use when you need them through-out the week.
- Read the newsletter: this is a great place for info about lesser-known vegetables, recipe ideas, and storage tips.
- Be adventurous, get creative, and have fun: try it before you decide you don’t like it. If you receive a vegetable you’ve never had before, try a few bites raw to get an idea of the flavor and potential uses. Some members have even recommended “hiding” veggies you don’t like in dishes with stronger flavors!
- Freeze the extras: freeze extra portions of meals, or chop and freeze vegetables you are unable to use during the week.
- Share: when you don’t have time to cook, can, or freeze, pass along some of the bounty to family, friends, neighbors, co-workers…
- Use the Take/Leave box at your pick up site: if there’s an item you won’t use, be sure to leave it in the box for another member to take. Check the Take/Leave box each week to see if there’s anything you’d really love more of!