If you love to go to the organic farmers market to get the freshest produce around, a CSA might be perfect for you. CSA stands for “community-supported agriculture,” and there are some definite benefits for consumers who join one and local farmers who need someone to buy their fruits and vegetables.
How a CSA Works
A CSA can serve a dozen families or be big enough to serve 1,000. Whatever the size of the CSA may be, it represents an opportunity to buy local seasonal food right from the farmer. Essentially, a farmer offers consumers “shares” in their farm before the growing season begins. You purchase a share and get what essentially is a subscription box full of fresh organic food every week.
There’s a set time and place to pick up your box, and what you get could vary from week to week. The quantity of produce that you get may also vary based on the output of the farm. In some cases, you can also get other farm-fresh products added to your box. A farm that produces eggs, herbs, or even honey could add these items to the box of a CSA member.
Benefits of Community Farming
For the farmer, the benefits of a CSA are numerous. They get the chance to sell right to consumers without a middleman to deal with. They also get paid early on, because shares are sold before the growing season even begins. This is good for the farm’s cash flow and can really help a small farmer out.
They also don’t end up destroying food that goes bad. There’s always someone to deliver it to when they are part of a CSA. We mentioned that farmers don’t have to deal with middlemen to sell their product. Well, they also don’t have to deal with them when they deliver right to the customer. They do not need to rely on packaging, processing, or refrigeration facilities. This is especially good in a pandemic because they could easily shut down at any time and leave the farmer with no way to unload their produce.
For the consumer, the CSA means less expensive organic produce delivered right to them. Joining a CSA can help them develop healthier eating habits since it’s not like they have to go out of the way to get healthy fruits and vegetables to add to their daily diets. If you join a CSA, you might also discover new produce that you like and get the opportunity to try out new recipes due to the randomness of what kind of produce could be found in your box each week.
Also, you get the chance to know your local farmer and learn more about where your food is coming from. Trying out a CSA can come with many unique benefits.
For More Organic Eating Tips
If you want to learn more about eating organic and taking advantage of your local food sources, drop by the Organic Restaurants website and blog. We have plenty of tips for anyone who wants to eat healthier and support their local farmers!