Would you love to enjoy fresh produce but don’t have the land, skill or energy to grow it yourself? Are you concerned about the chemicals used by large-scale growers? Did you know that most produce we consume is harvested weeks in advance of our purchasing it, giving the flavors time to dissipate?
If so, take a look at Community Supported Agriculture.
Called CSA by those in the know, it is a community of individuals who purchase “shares” in a farm operation, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Similar production systems are in use worldwide but may be called by different names. It’s like a magazine subscription, but instead of photos and articles about food, you are subscribing to fresh, healthy, flavorful veggies you can eat!
Specific CSAs vary by length of share season, quantity and selection of food per share, and price. Per Wikipedia, a rough average basic share in a North American CSA may be $350-500 for a season, for 18-20 weeks (June to October), providing enough for at least two people.
Never heard of this before? I hadn’t either. The trend began growing in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Today, there are over 2000 CSAs in the United States. www.localharvest.com is a good resource for more information about CSAs and how you can hook up with one near you.
Fish Hawk Acres in Rock Cave, WV, located near my hometown of Buckhannon, are accepting share subscriptions through the end of February. Not only do you receive produce items like mesculan greens, herbs and asparagus but you also receive a WV-made product like honey or fresh bread in your box, along with recipes from a card-carrying, puffy hat-wearing chef. And this CSA ships right to your door. (email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on Fish Hawk Acres)
All this talk about veggies is making me really hungry for a stir fry!