CSA! CSA! CSA!
Wasn't that fun?? If you aren't joining in yet, I hope you will be by the end of this blogpost! The topic is...you guessed it! CSAs! What are they? Why are they great for you? Why are they even better for farmers? Just watch this video from the Lexicon of Sustainability to get up to speed!
So, it's pretty clear how awesome this is for farmers: Farming is a risky business! So many things can wreak havoc on a harvest: the weather, a broken down tractor, a lack of workers, the shifting winds of food trends (kohlrabi is the new kale!), and about a million other influences. By committing at the start of the season to be the market for this food, and paying up front, you're giving the farmer needed funds to invest in this season, and future seasons, and to ride out some of those rough times.
But wait...what's in it for you??
A CSA can feel like a huge check to write for a bunch of fruits and veggies, and it IS a big chunk of change up front! You may not be in a position financially to make that outlay, but if you are, or you're already buying organic, or shopping at your farmers' market, you will likely find that you come out ahead, or at least break even. AND, no stressing over what to get, or when to go: your stuff is bagged or boxed up waiting for you. Go pick it up, and away you go!
Many CSA members enjoy being exposed to fruits and veggies they may have never had before (were you like, wtf is kohlrabi??)! If you enjoy cooking, and preserving, you'll love having lots of inspiration every week.
If you don't, you will want to be prepared to pick up these skills in order to get the most out of your CSA. You could team up with a buddy to help you figure out what to do with your bounty, in exchange for part of your share. I'm just going to say this right now, friends: I am SO up for being your preserving/cooking buddy! Take the plunge!! You could plan out soups, crockpot meals, days to prep and freeze extra veggies, and more all in advance, and along the way, you'll get to know the food you eat in a whole new, more intimate way!
Speaking of getting to know in a more intimate way, CSAs build communities around local food sources: you'll get to know the farmers and workers who feed your family, which inspires a whole new level of gratitude for your daily bread, and you'll meet neighbors at your pick ups who you already have something in common with: a passion for sustainable, healthy, delicious food! CSA stands for community supported agriculture, but you can also turn that phrase around: CSAs are when agriculture supports community!
If you're intrigued, now's a great time to do your research: ask around and see if any of your friends did a CSA this year. It will be winding down in the next couple months. Ask them what they thought of it. See what all options are available in your area. Once you find a good one, put the sign-up dates in your calendar, and be prepared to leap on it! The good ones are known to fill up!
Will you consider a CSA this year? Shall we try this one more time..?
CSA! CSA! CSA!