I am SO excited for Thursday! It is the first day that I receive my CSA share!
And what is a “CSA share,” I’m sure some of you are asking?
CSA stands for “community supported agriculture.” Shareholders purchase “shares” of a participating farm’s produce that season, with the hope and promise that every week, the shareholder will receive a loaded box full of goodies that were grown on the farm. The shareholder participates in the farming process by agreeing to place faith in the farm, and with the understanding that, along with the farmer, you will reap from the good seasons, and also experience the disappointments when the occasional thing goes wrong (think a banner year for peaches where they are plentiful enough to bring some home to can versus a frost making the crop limited in that fruit that year). Even in a so-called “bad year,” CSA’s generally fill in “gaps” with products like eggs or soaps or maybe homemade cheeses (a few examples from my own CSA). Money for the CSA is generally paid before the start of a season, though some allow you to pay per week on a non-subscription basis.
I’m looking forward to my CSA for a number of reasons–it will cut down on my grocery bill substantially. It will introduce me to new favorites, adding variety to what we eat. It will allow me to practice new skills like canning and dehydrating foods. Our CSA has oodles of meet and greets, classes (I’m doing a goat’s milk soapmaking class in June!), and activities for its members. But, the main reason is the promise of a healthier diet by having wholesome, home grown, local foods heading my way–our CSA is also organic, but not all of them are.
I’m sharing a link for my CSA and “my farm,” Goodness Grows, in Bedford, PA, and you can see what the first week’s offerings are like early in the season. I encourage you to research and find a CSA in your area, and if one is not available, make heavy use of farmers’ markets and locally grown and made foods in your area!