Celebrating Fresh Fruits and Leafy Greens.
As I write this, we’re experiencing pouring rain from an impressive Pacific storm – a not-so-subtle reminder that winter hasn’t given up … yet. But that’s okay, because our local CSA is up and running, delivering our first box of 2019! There are few things more feel-good than a pile of fresh fruits and veggies sitting on your kitchen counter. Amiright?
CSAs, or Community Supported Agriculture, are local small farms, or co-ops that focus on growing organic produce and making it available to their communities. The community, in turn, buys into these ventures through shares in the farms’ crops. Typically, a family will purchase 1 share over a season up-front, financing the farms’ operations. Then, over the course of the growing season, the family receives fresh local produce on a weekly basis. It’s a win-win. The farm commits to locally-oriented organic agriculture and the community gets healthy, locally grown food.
Some CSAs also deliver flowers, honey, eggs, soaps, cheeses, olive oil, and more.
The drawback is that you really don’t have a say in what you get. It took me months to figure out what to do with Jerusalem artichokes. Also, if there’s a bad crop, you may not get much of anything for a period of time. One CSA we belonged to several years ago had flooding that unfortunately wiped out many of their fields. The weekly boxes had lots of cucumbers, zucchini, and root veggies. Alas, no fruits. As another example, our CSA last year stopped in early fall after a spell of unusually cold weather wiped out their crops. Sad.
How CSAs Work.
CSAs can have different operating models. Some require that you purchase up-front, typically in the winter. This helps the farmer know how much to plant in the spring and also floats their farms financially through the winter and into the growing season. You can check out whether there’s a local CSA near you here.
Our CSA, J & P Organics, is a little different. They’ve been around for years and offer a weekly subscription option. Every week, you can decide whether you want the box or not, and pay accordingly. This flexibility is great for when families are out of town. They also deliver to our house, which makes things especially convenient.
Unsurprisingly, this first week we have lots of citrus from the central valley and leafy greens in our box. We’ll be enjoying fresh grapefruit for breakfast every day this coming week! There were also some apples and snap peas, which will make it into the kids’ lunches (if they aren’t consumed over the weekend).
Are you a member of a CSA? Tell us about your local CSA and leave a link to their website in the comments below. Huge shout-out to all those farmers!
You know who else loves our CSA box?