One of my goals this year was to join a local CSA. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term CSA, it stands for Community Supported Agriculture. You basically buy your food directly from the farmer! You pay upfront and then receive harvest throughout the year. Here are some advantages of a CSA (copied directly from the http://www.localharvest.org/csa/):
Advantages for farmers:
- Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin
- 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
If you want to find a CSA in your area checkout Local Harvest.
I joined Sauvie Island Organics. I chose this CSA because it’s been in business for quite a while, has a great reputation, friends have used it, pick-up is just blocks from my house, and it supplies some of my favorite local restaurants. Plus, they have a great blog, you can see the harvests from past years, they have partnered with a local chef who posts recipes specific to that week’s harvest, and they send you an email right before the weekend to give you an idea what is coming so you can shop accordingly!
I signed up for a half-share (good for 1-2 people), and a salad share. So far I’m very happy! The greens have been amazing. I highly recommend this to folks who love veggies, want to support local farming, and what to get out of rut and cook with some new veggies they might not normally buy.