Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Let's Talk CSA

We just sent in our contract for this year's CSA share and I am so jazzed!  In Minnesota we have a short growing season and our deliveries won't start until late June but I don't mind daydreaming and menu planning for a while.

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  This is a great way to get fresh, local, in-season produce onto your dinner (and breakfast and lunch) table.  Many CSAs offer other products such as meats, dairy, eggs, herbs, and flowers.

The website Local Harvest is a wealth of information about CSAs as well as a place to find a CSA farm near you if you are interested.
Over the last 20 years, 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 share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

What I love about being a member of a CSA farm is that I know my growers.  I get to visit the farm and help out if I want to.  I know that my family is getting the highest quality food.  We eat tons more fresh veggies than we would otherwise.  My kids know the names of dozens of different vegetables and eagerly try most of them, often while we are still in the red wagon on our walk home from our neighborhood dropsite.  My children also know where their food comes from and how it grows.

Here are a few sites to check out for recipes using CSA produce:

So tell us, do you belong to a CSA?  Which one?  Why do you love it?  Are you thinking of joining a CSA?  Do you have questions?

My favorite poem just so happens to be painted on the side of the barn at our CSA.  LOVE!

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