What is a CSA?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It is a program that lots of small organic farms across the country participate in to get their vegetables out to the community. Basically you are buying a share of the farm’s produce during the season. This helps the farmers with much needed funds early in the season and you get the fruits (or veggies) of their labors. It’s a win-win.

Different CSA’s work in different ways. We get our awesome organic veggies from Boistfort Valley Farm and they run their summer program for 20 weeks between June and October. Whatever is perfectly ripe and ready to pick that week goes in the box for delivery literally the next day. Because the produce is delivered so immediately, it tastes delicious! The flavor is really beyond compare. I remember when we first started with the program, I kept being amazed by this over and over, exclaiming, “These carrots are unbelievable!” The reason for this flavor upgrade is certainly the freshness, but also because this way, the farmers get to choose varieties of vegetables that are grown for the best flavor, not just for the best shelf life. Most large farms that ship to grocery stores need to have their vegetables last several weeks without going bad. With a CSA, the vegetables are picked at the peak of ripeness and are full of flavor.

Our farm sends recipes along with the vegetables and that is a great bonus. We’ve been subscribers for about 5 years but I tell you, in the beginning I was getting some vegetables that I had never even seen before! What was a kohlrabi? And so that’s what a rutabaga looks like! But with the recipes, I knew what to do with them, and I’ve never had a dish not turn out well.

The other great thing about subscribing to a CSA is that it literally forces you to eat your vegetables. I feel really guilty letting anything spoil in my fridge so I have great incentive to plan meals and get creative with what is in there. I mean, I know that in a few days I will be getting another box! I have been known to even have Veg Parties, making piles and piles of tasty vegetable dishes for my friends just to clear out a couple of weeks of produce.

It’s hard sometimes to get all the vegetables that we all know we should be eating. “Half your plate” is what the FDA currently recommends. Joining a CSA is a great way to make sure you get them. And organic, locally grown ones to boot! Find a CSA near you and join for the rest of the season.

To your health,

Laren Watson
Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach

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Kavitha - September 15, 2012

Yay! Thanks for the shout out! :-)Tomorrow is my third pick up-very exciting. Though I am a bit ovelmherwed-undertaking a whole share on my own (well, I do have Adam, but he’s a bit less veggiephilic than me) was a bit overzealous? My fridge (that I share with two roommates) is overflowing with greens and I’m struggling to get them all eaten, with my normal eat-out, order-in work-14-hour days lifestyle. This morning I woke up 30 minutes early to prepare my large dinner salad (three delicious types of lettuces) and brunch chard and broccoli fritatta to eat at work.We also have a hook up with other local farms that have grass finished beef, pastured poultry and eggs and fresh raw milk and cheeses. So last night at 1am, Adam and I were ordering meat, eggs and cheese for the freezer-the farmers link them up with the CSA, so next week in addition to my heaps of veggies, I’ll have steaks, eggs, chickens and cheese. I hope my roommates don’t kick me out for lack of fridge space!Thanks so much for all your help and advice-I definitely wouldn’t be eating this well if not for you!Oh, and I haven’t seen SATC yet (going tomorrow night) but I have a feeling that my life isn’t quite like theirs LOVE!

    Matthew - November 27, 2012

    UNI – mummmmm ..thsoe apelps are really good. i’ve been getting them in my basket up here in the lbc. apelps in oatmeal, apple crumble .work dem apelps! enjoy your basket!

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