The Beauty of the Local CSA

This is my third year joining a local, organic CSA! If you’re not familiar with CSA’s (community supported agriculture), it’s something that you might want to investigate. You basically join for a season, pay for your “share” up front, and then each week, you receive a beautiful box of local vegetables and/or fruit! My CSA is Lancaster Farm Fresh, which services many areas in the Mid-Atlantic East Coast!

My CSA 26-week spring/summer season started last week, and here’s what I got in my first box (cucumbers, kale, radishes, rhubarb, onions, chard, arugula):

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Here are some reasons why I love my CSA:

  1. Everything is local and organic. ‘Nuf said… you had me at “local and organic”, but there are even more reasons!
  2. I believe that we should be eating many of our vegetables and fruits when they’re in season where we live.
  3. The vegetables and fruits are picked when they’re ripe at the peak of their season. This is possible since they are being transported locally in the same week. The nutrient content is at its peak and the taste is fantastic because of this!
  4. It’s affordable – only a little over $20 for approx seven vegetables each week.
  5. It forces you to try new things you otherwise might not try! You might surprise yourself when you realize you like things you thought you didn’t like. You will also get a chance to see an assortment of different varieties of fruits and vegetables that you wont see anywhere else!
  6. It’s exciting to see how the contents of the box change week to week.
  7. We support our local farmers! This is so important these days, when so muxch agriculture is being taken over by corporate farming.
  8. P.S. All of the photos below were from my CSA shares last season!

 

1_ - 1 (95)Here are some other important things to know about CSA’s. Some CSA’s don’t offer a choice in what items you get every week. Although my CSA is like this, when I pick up my share, there is a “swap box” where I can trade one item for something else. Also, some CSA’s actually let you go online each week and choose item that you would like each week.

 

1_ - 1 (93)If you think that a share is too much for you to use up, I know people who share a “share” with someone else! Since I cook a lot, it’s not usually a problem from me to use all of my items, but obviously, you don’t want to feel like you are wasting food, so sharing is a great idea for some people!

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You can search online for a CSA in your area. My CSA has a drop-off point a few minutes from where I live. Each CSA website will list where their drop-off sites are, or if it is a small farm in your area, you might go directly to the farm to pickup your share.

This link might help your search too: Local Harvest

If you’ve been on the fence about CSA’s, I encourage you to give it a try! Most CSA’s are still offering shares and will prorate the price for you if you’ve already missed a week or two. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed! 🙂

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