Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

This may seem an odd subject to talk about among gardeners, but as I thought about it I realized that all of us need to have sustainable, healthy food. 
Many, if not all of us grow some type of food in our own backyards.  But how many of us are completely self-sustaining?  I would venture to guess that it would be a very, very small percentage.  So, where is our food coming from?  Many of our children (and probably some of us too) think it comes from the big store across town - we have no idea who grows it, how it's grown or where it comes from.

It is probably not viable for most of us to think that we can be 100% self-sustaining as far as trying to grow all of our own food.  But there is an alternative to having it grown by huge corporations where a healthy bottom line is often more important than a healthy consumer.

Local farmers!  There are small farmers living near where we live - heck, many of us (garden bloggers) are probably those farmers!  Buying locally is good for us, the small farmer, and the economy.

Advantages for farmers:
  • Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begins.
  • Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm's cash flow.
  • Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow.
Advantages for consumers:
  • Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits.
  • Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking.
  • Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season.
  • Find that kids typically favor food from "their" farm – even veggies they've never been known to eat.
  • Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown.

The biggest road block for many of us is how to find our local farmers.  Well, here's the solution!

Local Harvest is the place to find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in our area.  Simply type in your zip code and you're on your way to buying and eating locally.

And, for those of us growing the food - get out to your local farmers market and sell some of your own locally grown food and help out your neighbor.

Get your hands dirty!


  1. Love this article and the photos! Your readers may also like It's more like an online farmer's market run locally by people in your community.

  2. Absolutely, support your local growers. I am a big fan of healthy choices and nutritious vitamins. Grow green farmers. I love these produce stands and buy at each one I stop at on my travels to the farm each day. Rarely do they have days less than 16 hours. They are some of the hardest working individuals on this plant. :grin:

  3. The movie "Food Inc" will tell you more then you would probably want to know about where your food comes from.

    Local food from CSA is not only good for us, it's good for the enviroment, since the food is not shipped half way around the world to be sold at super-wal markets.

  4. I am another singer in the choir. What about that wheat for flour and corn for meal? My worry is what has been shoved into the Food Safety Bill recently in congress. The big guys have been picking on the small farmer quite a bit these days.

  5. Right on! We supply a CSA and we love selling directly to our customers! Many say CSA pick-up day is like Christmas - you don't know what's inside the box. We're proud to bring to our customers a variety of ultra-fresh foods, carefully picked and packaged. And the money stays in our local economy - we support our local printer for our brochures, we support our local co-op gas station and on and on. It's a win-win situation!

  6. Great Post! I have to say that it is very exciting seeing how we are truly moving towards reclaiming our food! It is a constant battle but one that we seem to be winning. We should all be paying attention to the Food Safety Bill and be sure the amendments (Tester- Hagen) get in there to protect small farms. Now there is a constitutional blip and some R. are saying they will block, (it did pass!) when it comes back to the Senate, if Bush tax cuts are not renewed. This is our system. I hope we all call our reps and demand the passing of this bill with the amendments.

  7. Thank you Matt for this great post! Local markets are the best!


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