Seacoast Eat Local believes in supporting and promoting local foods for the health of our community, environment, economy and culture. One of the most impactful steps that any individual can take to support this goal is to enroll in a CSA Program with a local farm.
Why are CSAs so critical to farm health and sustainability?
The short answer is, “it’s economics, duh.” The majority of a farm’s sizable expenses come at the time of year when there is traditionally the least revenue coming in. In late winter and early spring, before a single seedling has raised its hopeful head from the soil, there are a lot of bills to pay. Farmers need to purchase those future seedlings as well as soil amendments, equipment, infrastructure upgrades and also hire staff. With an influx of CSA sign ups, farmers are granted a source of cash flow at the time that they need it most, helping them plan wisely, reduce debt loads and start their season on time, with their most critical needs met.
The BIG Picture
Your CSA share contributes to a much larger picture of farm health, as well as economic and environmental sustainability. Every CSA share is a step towards financial sustainability for farms in the new year. Healthy farms make for healthy communities and a healthy local environment, as well. A thriving farm invests more of its income in equipment and infrastructure that can increase efficiency. These kinds of investments mean more dollars circulating in our local economies and more paid jobs for local residents. Responsibly managed farmlands are also good for our environment and many local farms operate under environmental/conservation easements that maintain open lands in our communities. The more individuals that source their food locally through CSAs, furthermore, the fewer greenhouse gases are committed to transporting fruits and vegetables from far-flung places. Fresh, locally produced fruits and vegetables have added health benefits and the relationship between a CSA customer and their farmer contributes to stronger community connections and decreasing social isolation.
Looking to make a big impact? Sign up for a CSA today!
Seacoast Eat Local is working to understand local trends in CSA programming. If you’ve never had a CSA, or you couldn’t imagine your life without one, please take our survey.