It may be only February, but now is the time to sign up for a Spring & Summer CSA share. The days are getting longer and the planting season is right around the corner…. Before we know it Winter will be a distant memory. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) creates a partnership between grower and consumer that begins before the seedlings are even planted!
Below are my top 3 reasons why you should purchase a CSA share:
1.) Support your local economy. When you purchase a CSA share from a local farm, you know where your food is coming from…. No mystery off the shelf in the grocery store or a sticker that reads Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, or California. It is coming from right here in New England. Over the course of the season, you get to know the farmers and their employees. You see them on a regular basis and are helping to support their farm and families, a part of your greater community, not a farm that is hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Your hard earned dollars go directly into the hands of a hard working farmer without large percentages lost to packaging companies, large conglomerates, and the transportation industry.
2.) Local food is better for you. When you pick up your weekly CSA share, it is often picked from the field that very same day. It is not picked, put on a plane, train, or truck, carried hundreds or thousands of miles from it’s original destination, sorted, packaged, then finally put on the shelf to sit and wait to be purchased. When you calculate all that time, it can be a week or two from the time the produce is picked to when you purchase it in the store. Produce has its highest vitamin and nutrient content when it is first picked. The longer it takes to get to you, the more nutritional value it loses. Fresh produce = a healthier you.
3.) You get to try new foods. You get to experiment and be creative with the produce you receive each week. Chances are you’ll receive some produce you’ve never purchased before, maybe never even heard of before! Prior to my first CSA experience I had never purchased items like swiss chard, leeks, and kale – now I eat them all on a regular basis. In fact, I’m pretty much a kale-holic. Having a variety of veggies in your diet allows your body to receive a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Having trouble knowing what to make with the goodies you find in your share? Make sure to check out my free recipes – most of which are based on seasonal, local produce.
Want to learn more about CSA shares? Join us at CSA days!
Our next one is at the Winter Farmers’ Market on February 22nd at Wentworth Greenhouses. In addition to an amazing farmers’ market, we offer the chance to meet farmers who have CSA shares available for the coming season. A CSA share provides lots of great food all summer long, as well as a chance to make a meaningful connection with a farm. Each CSA is unique, offering different pick up locations, diversity of products, and experiences. CSA Days at the market give you a chance to ask questions and find the right CSA for you. Visit the Seacoast Eat Local CSA Page to get an idea of questions to ask and check out all the farms involved this year!
Holistic Health Coach