Imagine a weekly box of ultra-fresh, flavor to the max, organic, nutrient-dense produce at a reasonable price all while supporting your local farmers? Have you ever had or thought of becoming CSA member? CSA = Community Supported Agriculture.
Community Supported Agriculture is a unique agreement between a farm and the local community. Members pay in advance each year for a weekly share of farm grown produce. As members of a CSA, you join with the farmers in both the benefits — bountiful crops, community, produce variety, direct relationship with farmers, access to u-pick, etc. — and the risks — bad weather, disease outbreaks, weeds.
Each week you will have the privilege of eating vibrant, just-harvested produce!
Say goodbye to wilted greens and tasteless tomatoes. Your produce will be harvested when it’s ripe and, in most cases, find its way into your kitchen within a day of being picked. This means better flavor and more nutrient-rich produce.
With a CSA share you can expect have some vegetable diversity - have you ever tried Broccolini? - You’ll want to! You can have the opportunity to grow relationships with like-minded community members, and even the possibility to volunteer on the farm for a free or discounted share.
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You’ll also find that many local farms have other offerings, such as fresh maple syrup, honey from their own bees, a meat share if they raise cattle and beautiful eggs from pasture-raised chickens, raw milk or butter too. Many farmers will also have local farm stands if you are lucky to live close by or take a country drive to pick up more fresh goodies!
How to join: Browse online Local Harvest (localharvest.org). Run by a small team of longtime food activists and passionate foodies, Local Harvest is a national directory that lists over 30,000 family farms and farmers markets, along with restaurants and grocery stores that feature local food. You could also visit your local farmers market and ask if they offer a CSA and you will be sure of getting a box of bountiful food each week.
You’ll find that the details of each farm’s CSA will vary, but generally speaking most will offer either a full or half share – Share with a family member or neighbor to split the cost and pickups is a great option too!
Typically, a full share will range from $300-600 and will start in early spring, ending around Thanksgiving. I encourage you to either call or stop by your local farm to ask them about share prices, amounts of produce distributed, and length of season.
OMG now what will I do with all this in-season produce each week?
This now provides a wonderful opportunity to exercise your creativity in the kitchen! Stay Positive!
You are embracing HEALTHY! ALIVE GOOD NON FACTORY MADE FOOD THAT’S GOOD FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY!!!
Try new recipes, explore new cooking methods, and challenge yourself to make those weekly repeats in a few different ways. FYI I post many recipes and ideas on my Instagram page Healtyrosz or Facebook – Pinerest is also a great resource.
Too much basil? Freeze some pesto. Over-abundance of zucchini? Bake some bread. Something you really don’t like? Share with a friend.
So...what are you waiting for? Your ultra-fresh, flavor to the max, organic, nutrient-dense produce is in season! Get out there and crop share!
Here is a great way to also reap the benefits of adding more fresh produce:
Plan a visit to a local farm market, so many are popping up….support local farmers!!!!
Grow your own, try raised bed gardening, or container plant a few items-even if it’s just fresh herbs…..basil, cilantro, parsley, thyme, oregano, rosemary or sage! Most container pots reseed new again each year!