If you’re looking for a easy way to consistently access local food, consider joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program.
In this model, customers pay a farmer up front for shares of produce and other farm products. Customers agree to share in the risks and rewards of the season and, in return, receive a weekly box (or bag) of delicious, locally grown produce and farm items.
Benefits of CSA Programs:
For the Customer:
♦Receiving fresh, flavorful produce picked at the peak of ripeness
♦Cultivating relationships with the farmers who grow your food
♦Gaining exposure to new vegetables and cooking techniques
♦Develop an understand of seasonal eating
♦Supporting the local (food) economy
♦Understanding how food is grown
For the Farmer:
♦No “middle-men” means receiving more income of each dollar sold
♦Guaranteed income at the start of the season
♦Marketing done in “off” season
♦Relationships with customers
Questions to Ask CSA Farms
CSA Programs often vary from farm to find. When searching for one that meets your needs, consider the following questions:
♦What are your farm’s growing practices?
♦How many people does one share feed?
♦How are your shares distributed (packed or not)?
♦Where and when is the pick up?
♦How many weeks is your CSA season? What are the dates?
♦What is included in your CSA share? Are other items available for purchase?
How to find a CSA farmer:
To find a CSA farm in your area, utilize these resources:
Local CSA Fairs
♦Monday, March 20th Cultivate Coffee & Taphouse, Ypsilanti, 1-4pm
♦Sunday, April 2nd Ypsilanti Farmers’ Market, 1-4 PM
For Other Regions:
Use our website to find a CSA in your county:
Filter by entering the keyword ‘CSA’ and selecting your county
Photo Credit: Christina Carson. Photo of Second Spring Farm, Cedar, MI.