All About CSAs

FarmersMarketA number of years back, I heard about something called a CSA from some of my book club friends. Not having heard of this before, I was curious and wanted to know more about it. They explained to me that a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) essentially meant joining a local farm by buying a share and having a box of fresh produce delivered on a weekly (or biweekly) basis. The catch was that you had to pick up the box from a delivery site and you got what you got in your box, whether or not your family actually liked (or ate) what was in it. I was all about trying new veggies so I did some research and signed up for what sounded like the best fit for my family the next season. We have had a CSA ever since and rave about it to people who either haven’t heard of it or haven’t yet tried it. There are so many benefits to having a CSA. It supports local farms, challenges us to eat much more of a variety of healthy foods, and reduces the miles between where our food comes from and our plate. Living in the Madison area, we have the luxury of having loads of farms to choose from.

When it comes to choosing the right CSA there are numerous factors to consider:

  • Size of the farm
  • Price of the share
  • Size of the share
  • Number of delivery weeks per season
  • Location of the pick up sites
  • Types of produce offered (most CSA sites have a list of what they grow)
  • Other food items offered (eggs, bread, fruit, meat, etc)

Having a CSA has opened our eyes to the importance of eating local and, in a good way, forced us to try things we never would have bought at the grocery store. Consider sharing a CSA or signing up for a biweekly share if you’re not feeling confident you can get through all the produce in a week. Sign up now to get your pick of farms and help your local farmers with some early season seed money. Soon you’ll be raving to all of your friends!