We all know we should be eating better food—local, organic, fresh. Unfortunately, not all of us have the time to grow our own or even spend a couple hours on Saturday morning perusing the aisles at our local farmer’s market. What’s the alternative for someone looking for a healthy, sustainable choice?
The last few years has seen a huge rise in one delightful alternative to corporate grocery stores: the CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. To join a CSA, you pay a flat fee to a farmer in advance. In exchange, he agrees to give you a share of the goods produced by the farm every week. It varies from farm to farm, but most CSAs offer vegetables, while some offer meat and eggs as well.
With a CSA, you never know what you are going to get. The food will be seasonal and include whatever is doing well on the farm. This is just like having your own garden! One week, you may be up to your ears in tomatoes, the next week, perhaps the corn is ready. Obviously, the goal of the CSA is to provide a nice balance of what is available. It will teach you to be creative with your meal plans instead of cooking with whatever produce Wal-Mart has shipped in from all over the world.
A CSA works great for the farmer, because they know how much food they need to produce in advance. Essentially, you are sharing the risk of farming with them because you agree to take what is available. It can be a little more expensive then shopping the chain stores, but you can sleep at night knowing that you are directly supporting the local economy and a sustainable system that is building a better future for your children.
CSAs are very limited in the number of customers they can take on each year. Now is the time to sign up and pay your fees. Do not wait until it is too late. This is one easy and obvious step you can take towards living a more sustainable lifestyle.
Are you looking for a CSA in Kentucky? Local Harvest is a great way to search for CSAs in the Bluegrass State!