With February 28th being National CSA Sign-Up Day, we thought it’d be the perfect occasion to talk about CSAs, how they work and why we're such big fans! This article has been adapted by Bruce Bradley, a great healthy lifestyle advocate.
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and it represents a totally different model of getting food from farm to table. Rather than depending on a far-flung distribution chain that grocery stores have become known for, CSAs connect families directly to farms. Although different models exist, most CSAs involve people purchasing a weekly share directly from a local farmer. In exchange the member receives the freshest, highest quality, local produce around. Literally vegetables are picked, packed, and delivered from field to table in a matter of 24-48 hours … a huge difference than the traditional grocery store distribution chain. Talk about knowing your farmer and where your food comes from!
Our CSA can change your life, for the better!
Meal planning starts with vegetables first: Although most sensible dietary advice suggests that we should eat more plants and vegetables, when’s the last time most people began their meal planning thinking about vegetables first? The typical American might plan a main dish (usually some meat or pasta) and vegetables become an after-thought. And even when you have the best intentions of changing how you eat, we’re human—we’ve developed bad habits, and we often succumb to unhealthy food ruts. What we love about joining a CSA is that it forces the issue. The transition to a CSA can be a challenge, but it really helps you break away from processed food inertia. On a weekly basis you’re faced with figuring out how to use your box of vegetables. And if you’re like us and you hate wasting money and food, a new dynamic starts to emerge and you plan meals differently!
You are more connected to the land: If you shop most grocery stores, food becomes a relatively season-less place. Yes, you may have some understanding that tomatoes and sweet corn taste better during the summer. But when you join a CSA, you really learn how weather and seasons impact what you eat. And while some people might be annoyed that tomatoes won’t be in their share the entire summer, you might have a greater appreciation of what it takes to grow vegetables, and how much better freshly grown, nutrient-rich, local produce tastes. And if you choose to join an all-natural, sustainable, and more environmentally conscious CSA, you’ll receive the added benefit of being exposed to fewer pesticides!
You will learn so much about new vegetables and how to cook them: Are you in a food rut? Before joining a CSA you might be limited to green beans, broccoli, peas, and salads. Believe it or not, there’s a vast world of vegetables out there, and there’s nothing better than a CSA to get you learning about how to cook greens, kale, kohlrabi, and all kinds of veggies!
You know your farmer: One of your greatest joys in making the CSA transition will be getting to know your farmer, Katie James of Teal Tractor CSA. We have taken the time to explain to current and joining members the benefits and challenges of local farming. Also later in the season, visiting the farm, seeing where your food grows, and learning more about the process is a powerful step in breaking away from the processed food distribution chain. Joining a CSA makes all of this possible!
If you are considering taking the next step and joining our CSA, here’s a list of helpful tips to make your transition easier!
Don’t be afraid to contact us and ask questions!
We have growing experience.
Consider joining with a friend or family member.
We offer a handful of different shares that help satisfy your needs.
We will share recipes, cookbooks, blogs, and ways to eat your veggies!.