CSA season is just around the corner and today’s 80 degree weather is a just another wonderful reminder. The thought behind Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is simple: You buy a seasonal share in a nearby farm and reap the benefits of local and often organically grown produce harvested throughout the season. Purchasing food grown closest to you tastes better and fresher, significantly reduces your carbon footprint, and supports local farmers. What’s not to love about that? I’ve recently joined the Downtown Manhattan CSA, Katchkie Farm, an organic farm located in Kinderhook, Columbia County, NY.
Visit www.localharvest.org, where you’ll find CSAs, farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area.
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 of seasonal produce to pick-up each week throughout the farming season. Typically, each share provides enough to feed two adults and two children (10-17 lbs of organic vegetables per week). The produce varies each week depending on what is available throughout the season and often includes anywhere from seven to twelve different vegetables. Depending on the share, members can also opt to purchase an additional fruit, meat, or egg share. The NY season runs for 22 weeks, beginning the first week of June and ending the last week of October.
- Eat ultra fresh and flavorful food.
- Eat the healthiest produce available, with all nutrients intact.
- Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking.
- It is affordable, and shares are often shared between friends or family.
- Kids enjoy food from “their” farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat.
- Develop relationships with farmers and learn more about how food is grown.
- You’ll be supporting your environment and community.