September 21, 2009
A Solution to High Organic Prices
Buying Certified Organic produce and products at your local supermarket can be both expensive and limiting, especially when they don't carry what you want or need. Fortunately, you can buy directly from an organic farm by subscribing to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Subscribers can pick up every week, or bi-monthly, a box of organic produce from a pick up area in their neighborhood (ie: library, mall, your home, etc.). Cost of membership varies by farm and region.
What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)?
CSA is a partnership of mutual commitment between a farm and a community of supporters which provides a direct link between the production and consumption of food. Supporters cover a farm's yearly operating budget by purchasing a share of the season's harvest. CSA members make a commitment to support the farm throughout the season, and assume the costs, risks, and bounty of growing food along with the farmer or grower. Members help pay for seeds, fertilizer, water, equipment maintenance, labor, etc. In return, the farm provides, to the best of its ability, a healthy supply of seasonal fresh produce throughout the growing season. Becoming a member creates a responsible relationship between people and the food they eat, the land on which it is grown and those who grow it.
This mutually supportive relationalship between local farmers, growers and community members help create an economically stable farm operation in which members are assured the highest quality produce, often at below retail prices. In return, farmers and growers are guaranteed a reliable market for a diverse selection of crops.
CSA reflects an innovative and resourceful strategy to connect local farmers with local consumers; develop a regional food supply and strong local economy; maintain a sense of community; encourage land stewardship; and honor the knowledge and experience of growers and producers working with small to medium farms.
There are over 1000 CSA farms across the US and Canada.
To find a CSA (or even a Farmer's Market) in your area, visit Local Harvest's website.
I'm a Master Naturalist and an outdoor enthusiast -- mostly kayaking, and I live on a Peninsula in the Chesapeake Bay. I'm the author of The Nature Fan, Nature Fan Activists, Green Earth Almanac, and Amanda's Geographic. Formerly, I ran the nationally syndicated column "National Green Activism" for The Examiner, and I was a key factor in the success of many campaigns. Make sure you don't miss a post, and subscribe by email! Thanks for reading.