What if, instead of getting a news magazine every week, you got a box of produce from a farmer down the road. And what if that box would be filled with fruits and vegetables, freshly picked , bursting with flavor and nutrition? That's what you get when you subscribe to a CSA.
Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) is also known as "subscription farming." You buy a share, or subscription, from a local farmer just like you buy a subscription to your favorite magazine or newspaper. But instead of receiving a magazine each week, you receive a "share" of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables.
While new in name, Community Supported Agriculture brings us back to an earlier time; a time when people knew where their food came from, ate in harmony with the seasons, and enjoyed a delicious, healthy diet of pure, fresh foods. "In season" is what CSAs are all about. The grocery store knows no seasons. Those who must shop there lose touch with nature. Sure, you can buy tomatoes in January-but they will not taste as good as those picked ripe off the vine in August. What we have gained in convenience, we have lost in flavor, freshness, nutritional value, and human connection to each other and to the land.
When you subscribe to a CSA, however, you remake all those connections. Of course, you'll never get tomatoes in June. In June, your CSA share will be full of luscious lettuce, cabbage, strawberries and other early summer delights. When August comes, then you will experience an explosion of true tomato flavor with your first bite of a juicy, just-picked, sun-ripened tomato. Proving once again that some things are worth waiting for!
CSA subscribers don't so much "buy" food from particular farms as become "members" of those farms. CSAs provide more than just food, they offer ways for eaters to become involved in the ecological and human community that supports the farm.
-You will receive fresh, non-contaminated vegetables and fruits.
-You will know where and how your food is grown, who grows it, and feel a partnership in the miracle of growing food.
-You will help support a 5th generation family farm, preserve local farm land and contribute to a healthy, local economy.
-CSA members only access to our online store to get extra items delivered with your share.
-You will become more aware of your relationship to the land around you.
-You will receive a weekly newsletter and recipes.
-You will receive 10% off any purchases at our farmer's market booths.
-We are given the opportunity to make a viable income by growing food in a responsible way, directly supported by the consumer.
-We have the pleasure of knowing who is eating our product and feel more satisfaction with our work.
-Farmland is preserved from development.
-Farmland is preserved from harmful farming practices.
-The community benefits by the preservation of open spaces which makes the area a more whole and satisfying place to live.
-The community is strengthened by the bringing together of folks who share healthy concerns about the future.
-The community gets an economic boost when food dollars remain within the local economy, rather than going out of state or out of country.
-You will pay upfront for your share. -You will need to pick up your share on an assigned day.
-You will need to return the bag or bring your own bag/box, depending on the site of delivery.
-You will accept the risk of a possible failure of certain crops, meaning the quantity of produce in a share could vary from week to week.
-Each of you will receive the same assortment of produce each week, no custom orders.(Allergies are the exception) You will be trying new vegetables