This year we decided to join a CSA. . For the inquiring minds out there…..(all four of my loyal readers) CSA stands for Community Supported agriculture.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)? It is kind of like becoming a member of a farm. CSA farms provide a weekly delivery of sustainably grown produce to members during the growing season (approximately June to October). It’s more than becoming a member and getting great produce. CSA offer ways for eaters to become involved in the ecological and human community that supports the farm. By becoming a member you are helping support a local small organic farmer. Depending on your family size and produce consumption splitting a “share” is a great way to start for minimal investment. We split a share with a family from Amelia’s ECFE (Early Childhood and Family Education) class. Most CSAs offer many options such as every other week delivery, just fruit, root veggies, cheese, meat, etc…
First start by asking around, googling, and if in MN “The Land Stewardship Project” is a great information resource. Walk around your local co-op, what farms are listed, do you like their produce? Some of these farms may also have a CSA. (Harmony Farms, Driftless Farms, and Foxtail Farms are examples.) January is the best time to start signing up for the most popular CSA’s. Previous members usually have priority for renewing their memberships, so act early in the season to insure your spot with the most popular farms.
We got started late in the season (late April). Many of the CSA’s which dropped close to home were already sold out. Not to be discouraged with a little detective work we found a lovely CSA out of Iowa, Rock Spring Farm.
Several factors sold me: convenience of their dropsite location, day of delivery, the online message board recommendations of Rock Spring about the variety quality of their produce and how friendly and courteous Chris the owner/farmer was to me over the phone. Another fun thing most CSAs send out a newsletter each week via email and/or with the grub. They have recipes, weather reports, and general farm happenings. Fun stuff!