Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Welcome to Community Supported Agriculture!

A little note arrived in my inbox last weekend.  It held so much promise and I was just bursting to say "Yes!" as soon as I saw it. 

The email came from my favorite farmer and he invited us to buy a share in his farm's CSA.  I love the romantic notion of supporting local farmers but I also love the hint that spring could be right around the corner.  This note assures me that someone is thinking about how many crops to plant and chickens to feed.  In the middle of another gloomy and gray winter week, I am desperate to hang onto this hope for warmth and sunshine.

Right now you might be asking....

What is Community Supported Agriculture? 
"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." Source

Lovely.  Count me in.  We decided to purchase the large share from TerraVita Farms.  The box feeds 3-4 people and the average weekly cost will be $27.50.  (The full amount is due at the beginning of the season.) Last summer, I budgeted $20 for each trip to the farmer's market and then filled in gaps with additional purchases at the grocery store.  Even though $550 paid up front feels like a lot of money, it really does fall in line with our typical grocery budget for fresh veggies in the summer.

Think about the excitement every week (for 20 weeks!) when I stop by the Granville Farmer's Market to pick up our box of vegetables, eggs, honey, and flowers.  We eat tons of vegetables and we love the adventure of trying new ones, so the spirit of the unknown is quite exciting.

I love the notion of knowing that my food was grown 5 miles from my house.  Organic?  Local? Natural?  Check! Check! Check! 

Take action my friends!
Are you interested in finding your own CSA?  Please visit http://www.localharvest.org/ to find the options available in your area.  You can enter your zip code to select farms near your home.  Browse through the farms' website, learn about their farming practices, and select the right price range for you.  If you live locally and are interested in TerraVita Farms, please see their website for all of the information.

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