Is CSA Membership a good fit for me?
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you have never been part of a CSA before:
Do you want to shake the hand of the farmer that feeds you? Visit the farm where your produce is grown? Keep your money in the local food economy? Do you want to be able to ask your farmer questions about how your food is grown and how best to prepare it? Meet some new fun neighbors? Then CSA membership might be for you.
Do you want the most nutritious and delicious fruits and vegetables, and freshest flowers? In a local CSA everything is typically harvested within 24 hours of pickup and grown within a few miles of where you live. If you love cooking and freshness and flavor are important to you, you will love being in a CSA.
Are you willing to try new things? In a CSA you might discover you love endive, and loathe fava tops. A CSA member should enjoy the adventure of trying new foods (and your farm will give you tips on how to prepare them). You may never have eaten kohlrabi before-but you may find that your kids adore them (look like spaceships! taste like applebroccoli!) When your food is this fresh and nutrient dense, what your family enjoys eating might surprise you.
Do you need to have control over your weekly food planning? Nature can be capricious-some years may be great for tomatoes, others for kale-and this will manifest in your CSA share. You probably won't see green beans in May, or blueberries in October. Some folks love the surprise of a CSA box. Some folks find it stressful: Hakurei turnips can look a lot like curve balls until you get to know them! A CSA member should enjoy being creative in the kitchen (and the good news is great ingredients don't need a lot of fuss to taste delicious!)
Are you up for seasonal eating? It can take a while to learn how to use everything in your share as you learn the cycle of the farm season-we'll take your from the crispy lettuces and peas of spring through the heirloom tomatoes and filet beans of summer to the hearty squash and kales of fall. Not to mention the berries, tree fruits and flowers! A good CSA farmer should have simple and delicious recipes to share-because they have crazy schedules too! Farmers eat it all and eat it often when it is in season-don't hesitate to ask how to prepare anything you are unfamiliar with. Sign up for CSA and learn to eat (and eat well!) through the farm year.
Do you want the best value? We get it-food dollars are limited and we all have to find ways to get the family fed while staying within our budgets. But a CSA share is more than a bag full of fruit and veggies. A share is a great value in the food itself, but a share also includes a relationship-with your farmer, with your local food economy, with your food-and with your fellow CSA adventurers. By choosing CSA membership-you are influencing how the land where you live is stewarded, how your food is grown and raised, and making connections in your community-that has value too. If you are going to look in your bag every week and say "I could have gotten more bang for my buck at ___________"-then CSA may not be for you. But that is OK-the CSA model is not for everyone, and we think that diversity in organic marketing outlets (buying clubs, Co-ops, Farmers Markets, grocery stores) is healthy too!
If CSA membership sounds good to you, click the link below!