What is a CSA? It's full name is Community Supported Agriculture.
Ok and that is? Basically it's s subscription service for food from local farmers. Ok that's kinda a simple explanation so here's a bit more detail.
CSA's originally started as a way for people in bigger cities that didn't have a direct contact with farms to get local and fresh vegetables on a weekly basis. They would buy a "share" of product from a regional farm, which would be picked up or delivered weekly. A "Share" would be paid for before the season starts to help the farmer buy seeds, equipment and other needs and the buyer reaps the reward of fresh produce during the season. The package generally includes 6 to 8 types of produce each week, or can even can include eggs, meats and other value added products such as jams.
OK, So I'm interested, are they in my area? Check out Local Harvest as see what's in your area.
It's a great way to learn where your food comes from, meet nice people and sometimes you can trade work for a portion of your costs.
Is there any risk to this? Yes, there is, it's part of the farming experience. We get bad weather, too much rain, not enough rain or things just fail. Often farmers will supplement one product for another. They want to have a great relationship with their customers. After all it's why they are farming after all.
Don't think you need all that produce at once? Don't worry their are often options on share size, 1/2 shares or splitting a share with friends and family. Often neighborhoods will have a community CSA where there is a dedicated neighborhood manager that is in charge of receiving the weekly distribution. You could always find someone that loves that spaghetti squash that you have no idea what to do with and trade them for some of their extra spinach.
And there are still other kinds that come from smaller farms like ours that do markets and also have a buy as you go basket. If you are in our area, we have a weekly basket that has a great selection for a low price. Eggs, breads and seasonal jams, herbs, condiments and salsas can be added. If you are near us and interested drop us a line and we will be happy to talk about it.
After that self serving plug I'll mention that there are still other kinds of gardeners who have a small plot and they network with other small farms to create a co op of sorts to create baskets for a CSA type project.
There are so many options for farmers, gardeners and the consumers to become involved and support your local agriculture. Check out a few sites, ask around, visit your local farmers market and become involved in where your food comes from. It's really important to your health and our economy.You might even find out you love spaghetti squash, once you use the recipe that was included in your basket!
Be sure to check out other great blogs doing the A to Z Challenge this Month. Leave me a comment about your blog and I'll check it out and link it up! Check back tomorrow to find out about "D" and my Daisy Dairy Trip!