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August 7th, 2004

Community Supported Agriculture

A few years ago, a friend of mine introducted me to a concept that I had never heard of, but made so much sense: Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). CSA members essentially own stock in a local farm for a growing season, paying dues up front and each week, receiving a bag of vegetables and herbs (and perhaps other things, depending on the CSA) whose quality depends on the weather and the season. Just like the stock market, you’re investing and taking part in the ups-and-downs associated with farming. Many CSAs follow organic guidelines, which is an added bonus, and the cost is about what you’d pay for similar products at the supermarket.

The CSA I belong to picks the vegetables in the morning and has them available for pick up at the farm or one of several other locations. They include a newsletter and recipes, as well.

While it does take a little bit of adjustment to planning your meals based on the vegetables you receive, there’s something special about cooking seasonally with freshly-picked, locally grown organic vegetables rather than buying the heavily pesticided and preserved “fresh” vegetables from the super market. And in terms of taste, there’s no comparison. Plus, it’s nice to know specifically where your food came from (I’ve visited our farm twice already this season).

If you’re interested in finding a CSA close to, visit the CSA directory to search by zip code or state. International CSAs are also covered.

Posted in Food and Beverage

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