Monday, October 5, 2009

Community Supported Agriculture

What if instead of getting a news magazine each week, you received a box brimming with fresh, organic, vegetables that have been tended to and harvested by local farmers in your area? If you are a member of a CSA, this is a happy reality.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) believes and adheres to the belief that the best organic food is that which is grown closest to you, making it greener for the environment due to the fact that it does not travel as far, and making it more healthful for the consumer, as many vegetables and fruits that are not grown locally begin to lose some of their nutritional value as they mature and ripen during long travels across the country. Developing a relationship between the farmer and the consumer grants knowledge to both parties, and also helps to stimulate the local economy.

To give you an idea of how a CSA works, a farm will typically put together a package of fruits and vegetables for you, based on your preference, and deliver it directly from the farm to your doorstep. A small package of mixed fruits and vegetables that is large enough to feed two people could cost approximately $23 per box, and within the month of September may contain a delicious medley of in-season produce such as gala apples, red grapes, mixed heirloom tomatoes, broccoli, fresh green beans, butter lettuce, and mixed peppers. Some farms may also offer additional services, such as the delivery of organic dairy products, grass-fed meat and Fair Trade coffees.

Although the basic idea of a CSA is the same no matter which you choose, details will vary among each farm. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a CSA:
  • Decide how you would like your produce box delivered, and how often. Many CSA's offer home delivery weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, while other CSA's may leave boxes at convenient pick up locations in your city.
  • Most CSA's choose what produce they deliver each week (though you can often give them input if you would not like a specific item delivered), but don't be alarmed, recipes are often included with your order, so if you receive an item you've never cooked with before you can learn how to prepare and eat it.
  • Ask your farmer questions, such as: How long have you been farming? Are there items that will be in my delivery that are from other farms? How long have you been involved with a CSA?
To check for participating CSA's nearest you, please visit

For more information, check out the video below, which follows a CSA-participating farm as they work to share their produce with their clientele.

No comments:

the green home

yahoo! green




ecorazzi :: the latest in green gossip

earth 911

auto blog green

the oil drum