CSA Week Is Around The Corner
Ready to commit to cooking more fresh, seasonal produce? Interested in supporting a local farm in an impactful way? These are just a few of the reasons people join a Community Supported Agriculture (or CSA) program.
What Is a CSA?
CSA is a subscription-based program. Members pay in advance and enjoy farm-fresh produce all season long. Joining a CSA is referred to as “buying a share.” In exchange for the up-front payment, the shareholder receives a weekly distribution of produce as it comes into season.
It’s difficult to replicate the peace of mind that comes from knowing where and how your food is grown—not to mention who is growing it. That is why CSAs create a perfect win-win relationship. Farmers face their highest operating costs at a time of year when their revenues are lowest. Selling shares offsets these expenses.
What Are the Benefits?
Buying-in gives members a slight discount, plus guaranteed first selection. Not only are share items harvested at the height of ripeness, but if quantities of high-demand items are limited (think strawberries), share boxes are filled first.
In signing up for a CSA, a member becomes one with the grower—taking the good with the bad. Adverse events, like challenging weather patterns or infestations, could impact the variety or even quantity of produce available come distribution time. On the upside, CSA farm families work diligently to help their members understand how to best use their weekly treasures. (Plus, there are also a ton of resources online to help. Take a look here, here and here.) Combined, this all fosters a strong sense of community with feelings of “all being in it together.”
CSAs have evolved in the U.S. over the past 30 years. They started with a noble mission: To develop an economy where you produce locally what is consumed locally. Fast forward…CSA programs are grounded in the same principles, but have also become more flexible than ever to meet the needs of busy individuals and families alike. Many farmers enable weekly customization, easy additional purchases (meat, eggs, etc.) or even flexibility around a vacation week or two. Plus, market day pick-ups couldn’t be easier.
Hyde Park Farmers’ Market growers strictly adhere to sustainable and humane practices. Produce is grown without the use of synthetic chemicals (think herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers or GMOs). Pastured livestock and poultry roam on the farm, eating a natural diet free of GMO-feed, antibiotics and hormones. To learn more about our CSA growers, link here.
CSA Week: February 20 to 26
CSA Week is right around the corner. This is the ideal time to make a commitment and enjoy the taste of local food throughout the summer.