What is a “CSA” ?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, otherwise known as subscription farming. Members pay a subscription to a local farm, and in turn receive a weekly or monthly box of seasonal produce. More and more CSAs are including eggs, meat and cheese. Boxes are delivered to homes or central meeting points, or pick up on-farm. On-farm is by far the most fun as you may stroll the rows, meet the hens and sometimes even lend a hand.
The selection will vary with what is ready to harvest on a given week, so many farms include a menu and recipes for the week’s bounty. You may end up with some tomatoes the color of plums, multifarious chilies, a melon you’ve never met, or make friends with a new goat cheese.
Farms range from a handful of acres to larger operations – and not all are rural. Many deliver in towns and cities. . As most also sell at local farmer’s markets, that is an excellent place to meet farmers and taste the wares.
Interacting with local farms gets you back in touch with the food itself and who grows it, and often opens gustatory doors with heirloom and rare varieties. You experience freshness at new levels; CSA farmers can afford to pick at the last minute, giving you that perky crunchy lettuce and juicy aromatic peach.
Not only will your mouth and body be happy, you can enjoy knowing you are supporting local, usually organic farming. Invest in your own community and feast in the process. Be one of the over 270,000 households a year, according to The National Center for Appropriate Technology estimates.