Last year my husband and I signed up for a CSA for the first time in Clarksville, TN. I only wish I knew about this program sooner! Each week we would get an entire cooler full of groceries delivered to our door! (Most CSAs don’t deliver door to door, but will have a pick-up location). One of my favorite parts was all the different kinds of food I got to try. It was always exciting to see what was in my box for the week and discover new recipes to make new foods. It was also nice not having to go grocery shopping : )
Now that we have moved to California, we have not signed up for a CSA yet. We are definitely enjoying all the farmer’s markets in the area though.
What is a CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture. Basically how it works is you buy a share of a farm, and each week you get a portion of the produce. Every CSA is different. Some are very small farms and you get to know the farmer. Others can be quite large. Some CSAs offer produce, while some offer other additional local goods such as meat, eggs, cheese, honey, and flowers among others.
Why is it important?
You are supporting local farmers!
Is it affordable?
YES! I found it to be way cheaper than buying produce from the grocery store. It was even cheaper than produce from the farmer’s markets.
How do I get my share?
Most CSAs will have a designated time and place to pick up the boxes. Some CSAs will have you pick up the box from the farm. And very few will do home delivery.
What does it mean to “work”?
Some farms also have a work requirement, or will offer a discount if you do some work on the farm. The CSA we did in Clarksville had this opportunity. We would work four hours a month on the farm, and honestly I think that was the most rewarding part of the program. I learned so much about growing food that I can now use with my own garden! Besides, there is something that is just so rewarding about spending time digging up potatoes and then taking them home in your box.
How do I sign up?
You can go to www.localharvest.org, enter your zipcode, and find farms that participate in your area. Each farm is different and may have different policies and work requirements. Pick which one is right for you. Then you can contact them and set it up.
Which CSA were you a part of in Clarksville?
Are you a part of a CSA in your area? What do you think about the program?