Buying Food From CSAs
Community Supported Agriculture (more commonly known as CSAs or farm shares) provides a direct connection between local farmers and consumers. Farms that participate in CSAs sell shares of the produce, meat and dairy that they produce. In exchange for purchasing a farm share, consumers receive regular deliveries of food straight from the farm.
Not only does this eliminate the middlemen and help support local farmers, it also provides fresh, sustainable food to consumers. By bypassing the global food distribution process, farm share participants benefit from getting food that hasn’t spent weeks in transit from farm to shelf. In practical terms, that means consumers have more flexibility in planning their meals because their food stays fresh longer.
Additionally, since food from CSAs travels a far shorter distance than that which arrives in supermarkets, less greenhouse gases are emitted and fewer fossil fuels are consumed in the transportation process.
But these are not the only benefits of purchasing from farm shares.
Variety is the Spice of Life
Supporting local farmers, eating fresh food and reducing your carbon footprint make participating in CSAs an attractive proposition, but one of the most lasting benefits is the variety of produce that comes from farm shares.
With farms that grow produce, what you get is dependent on what’s in season and what they decide to grow. This unpredictability can actually be a boon. With most farm shares, you’re likely to encounter fruits and veggies you may have never even seen before.
While figuring out what to do with hitherto unfamiliar foods can be challenging, it can also be rewarding (and, at the very least, it’s always interesting). You’re sure to discover and fall in love with new foods that may end up revolutionizing your diet. Some advice for making the most of your farm share: be flexible, work with what you’ve got and, most importantly, experiment! Cooking new foods doesn’t have to be intimidating—it can be exciting if you’re open to it.
Find a Farm Share
Finding a farm share has never been easier thanks to searchable directories like LocalHarvest.org. You can simply type in your city or zipcode and the site will pull up the locations of farm shares in your area, including information on what they provide, how much they cost and where and how often they deliver.
[Photocredit: BronxCSA; TheDailyGreen]