Although the first spring greens are still just a glimmer in most farmers’ eyes (or possibly a seedling in their greenhouse), there are a number of great reasons to sign up right now for a CSA. By purchasing a share in a CSA, (which stands for Community Shared Agriculture or Community Supported Agriculture), you partner with a local grower who then provides you with a whole season’s worth of delicious vegetables (or flowers, in the case of Sylvia’s Plant Place!).
Probably the most compelling reason to act promptly is that many CSAs actually sell out of shares in the late winter or early spring, so now is the best time to find an appealing one near you! To that end, you can click here for a link to the page full of local listings in the February issue of theHumm, or read on to the end for a list of local farms that are running spring/summer CSAs.
Once you sign up, you can rest assured that you have done your part in contributing to food security — and quality — in your area. You can deal directly with the people who grow your food, asking questions about growing conditions and giving feedback about your preferences. Knowing what kind of produce you’ll be getting in a given week also enables you to plan ahead for meals, which is a great way to reduce both wasted food and extra trips to the store or market. Some CSAs even provide you with recipes that feature items in that week’s share.
Supporting small-scale, local farms means voting with your dollars for the option that is easier on the planet than large, mono-crop industrial farms. You will also feel like you’re doing something good for your health and the health of your family. Local growers are proud of what they sell, and their primary goal is to produce vegetables, fruits and meat that taste great and are full of nutrients, instead of stuff that needs to survive a trip across an ocean and most of a country in a shipping container. You will be dealing with a local expert, someone who spends a good deal of time on the many tasks related to turning soil, sunlight and water into delicious food. The farmers then sustain the local economy by making local purchases, resulting in a win-win situation!