Last spring I signed up for a CSA share from a small farm in Vancouver. I had been looking for a way to be more supportive of local agriculture and getting to the farmer’s market on the weekend was not always convenient. This particular farm delivered, so I thought I would give it a try.
My husband and I were really happy with our experience last year, so I signed us up again this spring. We found that our weekly box provided more than enough vegetables for the two of us. We didn’t need to supplement it with anything, but we still chose to buy a few other vegetables here and there to suit what we wanted. Our farmers also provided us with a weekly online newsletter, comprised of information about farming practices, recipes, and updates on the harvest. Since last year, our farm joined a co-op so that they can focus more on farming and less on the administration side of the business. Fair enough. We won’t be receiving weekly delivery, however the pick up location is very close to home (there were many to choose from throughout the city) and we will reap the benefits of more growers. I’m all for that.
What is CSA?
CSA, or community-supported agriculture, is a great way to connect with and support your local farmer. In the early spring, when farmers’ expenses are at their highest, shareholders purchase a share of a farm’s harvest upfront. In return, the shareholders receive a weekly box of the harvest throughout the summer and early fall. By sharing in the risks of farming, the shareholder and farmer form a supportive relationship. One that I think is well worth it.
Over the coming weeks I will share with you Mel’s Box: the contents of our weekly food share and what I made with it. I hope to encourage you to try some new, local produce (all items are also likely to be available at your local farmers market), inspire you to get cooking, and maybe even sign up for your own CSA share next year.
Are you part of a CSA program? Would you consider trying it?