If you want to support your local farmers and receive the freshest produce every week, you have to check out CSA’s!
My oldest son recently told me about CSA’s… It stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and he joined one with a New Jersey farm called Stony Hill. http://www.stonyhillfarms.com – My son will be posting some recipes that he creates with all of the ingredients from the CSA as contribution to my Recipe Section!
The more I learn about these CSA programs, the more I want to join one myself! CSA’s are available practically nation-wide, and the concept is all about the local community joining hands with their local farms. It really takes the whole trend of “buying organic” or “buying local” to a whole new level in my opinion…
Upon doing some more research on CSA’s, I found out that they have been around since the 1980’s and there are over 12,500 registered CSA Farms in the USA these days. I must say, there is something kind of satisfying about contributing to the local community like this. The most impressive part of course, are the farmers themselves… They grow all of their crops and then deliver the CSA “shares” to their local communities (usually in a really convenient spot like the local farmer’s market in your town). You can buy-into a few different types of “shares” when joining a CSA. Most have options for Personal, Half, and Full Shares. Personal shares are great for someone living on their own, while Half and Full shares supply enough food for a couple to small family. Here are a few sites that my son showed me where you can look at the various CSA programs and prices…
The ingredients that you receive are unique to your specific CSA based on location… The community is linked to its local farm’s ability to grow certain produce. Delivery is once per week and members experience the local farm’s current crop in season. My son receives a variety of produce… This is just a small selection of examples
Vegetables: Peppers, Scallions, Asparagus, Squash, Cucumbers, Garlic etc.
Fruits: Blueberries, Cherries, Peaches, Apples, etc.
Herbs: Basil, Mint, Lavender, Rosemary, Dill, Parsley etc.
Prices for CSA membership vary based on the size that you order. Most CSA Seasons last from June-October or November – and prices for Personal to Full Shares range from $250-$350, to $650-$800 for the season. Honestly, when you look at the amount of food received each week, the prices make a lot of sense (roughly $15-$30 per week based on the variety of program we have found across the country). Now, by joining a CSA, you are attached to THAT particular farm’s produce, so if they have a bad season, then the deliveries each week might be light… however, when the seasons are good, you then receive even more food than originally planned! They call this a “shared risk” scenario. I cannot wait for our family to start posting recipes from the CSA! More fun coming soon!