We’ve all been hearing the slogan “Go Local”. It’s a rally cry for supporting our local businesses. One way you can “go local” is to support local farms either at weekly Farmers Markets or by joining a Community Supported Agriculture farm (commonly called “CSA”). CSA members join a farm by paying up front (sometimes even in the winter months) and then sharing in the farm’s harvest throughout the growing season. CSA member payments provide funding to the farm at a time when it needs to hire staff, till the fields, and plant the seeds. In return, members receive weekly shares of the harvest. To find a CSA in your area, click here: CSA Locator.
My CSA – Groundwork Organics – provides a weekly bountiful box of high quality organic vegetables, fruits and herbs. I get this weekly “treasure box” for almost 6 months!! I’ve learned to use foods new to me, such as fava beans, lemongrass, and fennel. In addition to a very good price for high quality, super-fresh organic produce, I find it actually saves me time and money. I’m not making long grocery lists and running to the store. We simply eat what we get, making meals around the ingredients in our box. An added benefit to buying local food — it reduces our consumption of fossil fuels. Even if the local CSA has to drive over the mountain to deliver the produce, it still uses less fossil fuels than eating food shipped in from other states and countries.
One of my all-time favorite books is about a CSA — The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball, who writes: “This book is the story of the two love affairs that interrupted the trajectory of my life: one with farming—that dirty, concupiscent art—and the other with a complicated and exasperating farmer.”
So, if you are striving to go local, consider joining a CSA in your area. Then, with all the time you’ve saved by not having to make grocery lists and run to stores, you can sit back and enjoy reading this engaging, entertaining book!