Food For Thought: Community Supported Agriculture
Not many people have heard of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) before. However, its popularity is slowly rising due to its many benefits. While some of our food from the nearby grocery store is genetically modified or contains remnants of pesticides and herbicides, CSAs are a local alternative.
It works like this: Instead of driving to your local grocery store every week, you go to or call your local Google-searched CSA, a USDA-certified organic farmer’s market, just once, and subscribe for however long you want for how much you want. For as little as $60 a month, every week you can have a box of fresh seasonal produce grown less than two miles away. Boxes include everything from kale to carrots and strawberries to peaches.
Another exciting benefit of participating in CSA is that you can actually talk to the person or couple who grows your food. You can ask them questions about how tomato you’re getting ready to sink your teeth into was grown, and what other products were used for its growth. The average grocery store consumer doesn’t get to do that with the amount
of food that is grown on a large scale by farm workers hundreds of thousands of miles away, often times in another country, so it is less transparent and less accountable.
To take it one step further, many participants choose to lease their own plot. For about $20 a year and one hour of volunteer work per week, you get a 16’ by 16’ plot that you can use as you please and access to all the equipment you need.
Also, you are helping to sustain your local agriculture-meaning that you are supporting the organic methods the CSA uses that keep the soil, water and the environment in your local community safe.
Hence the acronym CSA, but in return, you get fresh and sustainably grown food from people you can talk and ask questions to.
In addition, CSAs provide communities in food deserts or areas where income is low and supermarkets are not within walking or driving distance an ability to access fresh and healthy foods for their family.
Much like its produce, the benefits of community supported agriculture is plentiful.