CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. I want to share my experience with CSA’s.
Many years ago I read several books about food that changed the way I viewed the produce on my table. “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver was one of those books. “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan was another. I made the decision for my family that I wanted to eat local first, organic second whenever possible. So, I support as many local food based businesses as I can, including a CSA.
I’ve been in 3 or 4 different CSA’s over the years and each is slightly different. Most require you to pay at the beginning of the growing season for the entire season. Each week you receive a box of produce from what they harvest for 20-26 weeks.
Being in a CSA brings me closer to my food. I’ve learned what grows well here in Indiana. The farmer sends a weekly email about what’s planted, what needs water, what has bugs, what’s doing well, and what isn’t. I get a sense of his process. I can visit the farm and see my food in the ground. I can shake the farmer’s hand and thank him for nourishing my family. I can see how my support helps to nourish his family.
I receive a variety of produce and a lot of it. Not just stuff I want or like but what’s naturally available at any given time over the summer. That sparks my creativity as I plan meals around the massive amount of produce in my kitchen. I often have enough to share with family and friends. I’ve learned to preserve food. We eat produce from the farmer all winter long. And trust me, you’ll never feel as healthy as you do after a summer full of fresh produce.
There are still spots open in my CSA. If you’re interested I’m happy to share details or answer questions. A google search will bring up CSA’s in your area. And if you participate in a CSA now please share your experience with us.