The growing season is quickly approaching, and it’s time to begin thinking about where our fresh produce will come from this year. A backyard garden, farmer’s markets, a local CSA? Don’t know what a CSA is? We’re about to break it down for you.
We are excited to share the knowledge gained from four years (with some ups and downs) of CSA memberships.
What is a CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. When you join a CSA, you are essentially buying a farm share. Members (you) pay in advance for a growing season so farmers have operating capital. During the growing season, members receive a box of produce from the CSA on a regular schedule (usually once per week). Some CSA shares are delivered directly to your home, and others must be picked up from a designated location during a set time frame. Most CSAs only offer produce, but depending on the farm, you may also have the option of purchasing a share that includes eggs, meat, dairy, baked goods, fresh flowers, or other farm products.
Supporting local farms
If we fail to support our local farmers, we end up with food from large, profit-driven farms where practices are questionable at best. Keeping small farms in business supports the local economy, and offers good farmers the opportunity to grow food the way WE like it.
Belonging to a CSA gets you closer to your food and the people who grow it. You hear us say this all the time . . . get as close to your food source as possible. CSAs offer the chance to know exactly where your food is coming from, meet the people growing it, and build a relationship with them. If you have questions about your food you can simply ask the farmer – “Do you use any chemicals?” “How do I cook (insert name of strange vegetable here)?” or “Do you have a good recipe for _____?” You can learn so much about food from CSA farmers!
We are please to offer “farm days” where members visit, work the farm, taste produce, and see the inner-workings of the farm. Now that’s what I call getting close to your food! We host these events the second Sunday of every month from June until October.
Learn to eat seasonally
Receiving your CSA share each week helps you learn which foods grow during different times of the year. Do you know when zucchini is in season, or when a cantaloupe ripens? You won’t see watermelon in your CSA first thing in the spring. CSAs help you learn to look forward to the foods as they are harvested naturally, in their own time. Modern supermarkets have trained us to shop without seasons. We lose the healthy flow of seasons in our diets; and that flow is important to health and well-being. Different foods are high in different nutrients our bodies need during each season.
Save money on dining out
Trust me, when you have a refrigerator full of fresh produce each week, you think about the money already spent and decide staying home is probably your best choice.
It takes the pressure off
If you don’t have the space, time, or knowledge it takes to grow your own food, purchasing a CSA share allows you to rely on a farmer who DOES have all these things. Maybe you are only growing a few things in a small garden this year, or live in an apartment where growing is near impossible. A CSA can supplement produce you grow yourself, or completely replace it. We had years when entire plant crops in our garden were near wiped out – CSA produce to the rescue!
CSA Members will get first dibs, on bushels of produce to purchase, for canning, home cooking or preservation. CSA members also get access to new and upcoming items before our market stand does each season.
We spend a lot of time searching for professionals we can trust with our health – doctors, dentists, fitness experts, etc. Food is one of the most important ingredients for achieving good health, so we need to place importance on finding the best farmers and the best local food available to us.
Joining a CSA is a great way to develop a lasting relationship with a local farmer who is growing your food properly!
Consider joining ours today!
Pricing and availablity can be found here.
|To find out whats in Season, please use foodland ontarios seasonal guide which can be found here
To sign up or register please click here brochure.pdf