CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. In this system, farmers request a certain sum of money at the beginning of the farm season and then each consumer gets a box of fresh produce at pre-determined dates throughout the growing and harvesting season. Usually, farmers offer CSAs on a weekly basis and are picked up by the customer at the farm or at a drop site. Here are some reasons why you should get a CSA this season:
1. Health- CSAs will effectively cause you to eat more fruits and vegetables.
2. Creativity- You will receive vegetables, fruits, spices and other items in this box that you have never heard of and certainly don’t know how to cook.
3. Broadening of horizons- Similar to #2, you will become a more well rounded person for having sampled many new things.
4. Improved cooking skills. Enough said.
5. Reduced environmental impact- You will become at least a part-time locavore because CSAs are usually located close to home and require less processing and travel. Farmers that participate in CSA programs are often environmentally conscientious and use practices that are good for their land.
6. Support of local businesses- Farms are businesses and the CSA system gives them money up front so that they can offer a more well rounded basket of produce to you.
7. You know exactly where your food is coming from. In grocery stores you are often lucky if you even know the country of origin for your food.
8. Work for food- Often, farmers will let you work a few hours per week on the farm in exchanged for reduced or free CSA shares. This is a great experience and is even more healthy for your wallet.