Today's guest blog comes from my sister Meghan. Meghan lives in Vermont which is a state known for its agriculture. She writes about Community Supported Agriculture, which is growing in popularity across the Northeast. Locally, we have many CSA's around including the Newton Angino Community Farm and the Waltham Fields Community Farm. They are a great idea and help farmers earn a living producing good food while minimizing environmental impacts of our food system. MD
Community Supported Agriculture
By Meghan Daley
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a program that connects local farmers with local consumers. Basically, members of the community buy shares in a farmer’s crop (usually organic) for the season. Some CSA programs consist of more than one farm so the variety of the produce is bigger. The crops are generally a variety of vegetables and may even contain flowers and eggs. Once a week, the produce is divided up evenly amongst the shares and is delivered to a local meeting point where the shareholders come and pick up their week’s supply of produce.
I am participating in CSA this year. The farm I am supporting has a different style of CSA than most. I paid $180 for $200 worth of produce. Our farm, Boardman Hill Farm, has a farm stand so when we need produce, we go to the farm stand and using an honor system (only in Vermont do honor systems still exist), we deduct money from our $200 account. He owns a pretty big farm so the range in produce is huge.
The style of CSA that I am participating in works for me because I live in the Adirondacks during the summer so I am not in Vermont to pick up my week’s supply of produce. Therefore, my shares would go to waste. With my CSA program, I don’t have to collect any produce until the fall when I return to Vermont. Also, I can choose the produce I want so if I want to spend my $200 on rainbow carrots and patty pan squash, I can!
I love taking part in CSA. I feel good that I am supporting a local farm and I feel healthy because I know my produce is fresh, organic and hasn’t traveled thousands of miles to get here. You can learn more about CSA’s on localharvest.org.