you may have noticed in my instagram feed that i love my CSA veggie box.
which might lead you to ask... “what’s a CSA?”
it means Community Supported Agriculture. also known as a veggie box, farm share, farm box, etc.
buying into a CSA means you are buying into a share of a farm at the beginning of the season in exchange for a weekly (or bi-weekly) “share” of the harvest. you invest up front so that the farm can use that money to finance their growing season & in return you get the best of their bounty throughout the season.
each CSA program is different, so doing some research in your local area is important.
some offer a collection of veggies & goods from multiple nearby farms & local producers, some are strictly from one farm. some are all-organic, some not. some offer eggs, meat, grains & other fun stuff, some just fruits & veggies. sizes of shares & prices vary greatly as well. the quantity you receive each season is also different depending on where you live.
localharvest.com is a great resource to find the closest CSA to where you live & decide if it would be the right choice for you.
here are 5 reasons to consider signing up for a CSA...
1. you love to cook.
you will have the freshest & tastiest fruits & veggies you've ever had & will be blown away by some of the flavors you never knew could come from the earth.
2. you want to eat healthier.
since your food has traveled less distance & has been picked at peak season, what you get in a CSA often has a higher nutritional value than choices from the grocery store. according to ayurveda & other health folks, eating with the seasons is ideal for health & wellness.
3. you already have a jump-start on your meal-planning.
when you open the CSA box you will be inspired by the beautiful assortment of veggies when creating your meals for the next week. this will save you time when deciding what to cook & money because you will forgo going out as much.
4. your meals are focused around vegetables.
because you're so inspired you will likely begin to make veggies the main event in your meals, not just a lame side dish.
5. you are helping the earth.
eating from the earth that is close to you is great for the planet in many ways - less exhaust in the air from food travel (and less gas used), local farms generally use little or no pesticides/chemicals & farming practices of a local farm (vs. commercial) are much more symbiotic with the earth, rotating veggies & plants that replenish it’s nutrients not just strip them.
and 5 reasons to not to...
1. you don’t like to cook.
local food or not, if you hate to cook, you will likely still not like to cook.
2. you don’t value a premium price on local food.
sometimes CSAs can be cheaper than the grocery store, but often you are also paying a premium to support a smaller operation so it can afford the community local produce & not have to rely on commercial farms across the country. if you think the farmer’s market is for yuppies & you stick with canned vegetables, a CSA might not be for you (however, i might suggest you give it a try).
3. you are picky & not willing to try new veggies.
each week you get what you are given & there isn't always an option to swap. you've got to be open-veggie-minded which can often comes as a pleasant surprise.
4. you travel all the time.
if you’re gone every week food will go to waste no matter how much you hope to use it. perhaps sharing a CSA with a friend or neighbor is for you.
5. you're a farmer.
because well, you have plenty of your own veggies to choose from already.
what do you love (or not love!) about buying into a CSA? Please share in the COMMENTS below!