Why Support a CSA?

Why Support a CSA?
We signed up for a local organic farm CSA several months ago and hands down, it’s the best decision we have ever made. Not only do we get fresh organic fruits and vegetables do our door, but we also get a bouquet of flowers. Although the farm will email us a few days in advance to let us know what to expect in our weekly shipment, I almost hate looking because it’s always different and always fun. Eating ‘seasonally’ can be challenging if you’re used to a dietary ‘routine’. However, eating seasonally (and locally) is also creating a lot of fun recipe and kitchen experiences for my family and I. Each week is like a Cooking Reality TV Show. You’re given Chard, Celery, Leeks, Red Peppers…ok, go! Make something!

My friends are often in awe of the bounty we receive each week but shy away from signing up. The common complaint for CSA membership is that if you leave for a week, you have a paid delivery. It’s recommended that you donate the food, or have a friend or neighbor take it for the week. However, people generally hate paying for something they don’t directly receive. However, what most folks are not understanding is that farmers plant their crops and plan out food production based on how much money they have taken in. If you miss a week and they don’t get paid, that hurts the farm and their planning. It is afterall, Community Supported Agriculture, not Agriculture Supporting the Community!

Definition by the USDA, United States Department of Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Typically, members or “share-holders” of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer’s salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production. Members also share in the risks of farming, including poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests. By direct sales to community members, who have provided the farmer with working capital in advance, growers receive better prices for their crops, gain some financial security, and are relieved of much of the burden of marketing.

Some CSAs will have a local pick up spot like a home or farmer’s market where you pick up your produce every week. I am fortunate enough to belong to one that actually delivers to my door! Everything is carefully packaged and the delivery is always chock full of beautiful veggies and fruits.

A weekly commitment can range from $25-$40+ depending on the size of the order you have. The price is well worth it. No driving, no agonizing in the produce department as to what to get and best of all we are supporting a local farm producing food!

Our organic CSA farm here in San Diego that we belong to is Seabreeze Organic Farm.

I encourage everyone to at least do a little research about your own local CSAs and decide if it’s a good fit for your family, but you won’t be sorry if you do decide to try one out.

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