Eat Local this Summer—Community Supported Agriculture

I’m getting super excited for the upcoming farm season, and simply cannot wait to visit our local farm (that’s you – 63rd Street Farm, Boulder, Co!) for our weekly pick-ups.

That said, I wanted to share a quick post today on Community Supported Agriculture programs (sometimes referred to as CSA Shares) as it’s not too late to get in on all of that organic, local produce action.

If there is one small change you can make to your health & wellness routine this summer, I’d have to say this one tops the list.

If you’re looking for ways to economically eat fresh, local, organic/non-GMO fruit + vegetables, I highly encourage you to check this out.  Visit, www.LocalHarvest.org – enter in your zip code, and you can see what’s available in your area. Be sure to look for the specific criteria important to you (organic, etc.)

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)—What is it? (LocalHarvest.org)

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.

Here are the basics—a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the summer share consists of produce, but other farm products may also be included. Consumers (you!) purchase a share (a.k.a. a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box/bag/basket of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

This arrangement creates several rewards for both the farmer and the consumer:

Advantages for consumers:

  • Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits.
  • Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking.
  • Have the opportunity to visit the farm on pick-up days (perhaps even volunteer for a day or two!)
  • Develop a relationship with the farmer and learn more about how your food is grown.

Advantages for farmers:

  • Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin.
  • Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow.
  • Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the delicious food they grow.

The Cost?

Each program differs. Some offer full-shares (to feed an entire family) and smaller half-shares (for 2-3 people). Other programs structure half-shares as bi-weekly pick-ups (half season), whereas the full-shares are weekly (full season). So, do a little bit of research. If you don’t see something that works perfectly for you, talk to the farmer and see if you can work something out! Chances are, you can.

NOW, for those who think eating organic is too expensive—check out how my CSA breaks down:

I purchased a half-share at my local organic farm—at $450 for the season.

The share feeds 2-3 people veggies for 23 weeks (June-Nov.); that breaks down to $19.60 per week.

When was the last time your weekly Whole Foods (or even your traditional grocery store) produce was $20 or under? …Interesting, isn’t it?

 

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