What is Community Supported Agriculture?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a way for citizens to directly support farming and farmers in their communities. Members purchase a share of a farm’s produce for the growing season. These shareholders pay their money upfront, and in return, they typically receive a weekly delivery of what is in season at their local farm. The benefits of reduced transportation costs, having a varied local diet, and a direct positive impact on communities are some of the benefits of participating in this process.
Why is Community Supported Agriculture Important to Me?
Well, I’m glad you asked! As someone who values shopping local and caring for our environment, purchasing a CSA basket was a no-brainer. I typically spend at least $20 each week on fruits and vegetables from the grocery store, but I normally buy the same few things each week. With a CSA basket, I get so many options that I wouldn’t normally think to buy at the grocery store. It not only costs me the same amount of money (or even less), but I also get to try recipes that I normally wouldn’t and broaden my diet!
Another reason it’s important to me is because my husband, Kelly’s, family has gotten CSA baskets from one of their local farm in Wisconsin called Community Homestead for many years. Community Homestead is an amazing group of volunteers and people with diverse developmental abilities and disabilities. It is a group of six households clustered around an organic dairy farm and large garden, a bakery, kitchen and woodshop, winter crafts and a rich social life. They live and work together to sustain, protect, and enrich the human and natural environment. Kelly’s brother lived at Community Homestead for years, so it’s very important to all of us to return support to this great group of people who supported him for so long. The fruits, vegetables, jams, and other items from Community Homestead are some of the best I’ve ever had, so I knew I had to find my own local farm that offered similar products!
How do you choose the right CSA for you/your family?
This is the hard part. With so many options here in Park City, I did a lot of research to find out which CSA was the right one for my husband and I. I went to an event called Meet the Producers, which is a gathering of local farmers and other vendors who tell you about their products. This way, you can talk to each individual farm that offers CSA baskets and get any questions answered that you may have. The CSA Utah website also helped a lot with my decision, as they list all the CSA options in different areas and what they offer. I ended up going with Urban Farm and Feed, which is based out of Sandy, UT, but their farms are scattered all throughout Salt Lake County. One of the main reasons Urban Farm and Feed caught my eye is because eggs or a special artisan good (like pickles or honey) will be packed with your first share, and every other week following. Nothing beats good farm fresh eggs, and I knew I couldn’t turn them down! I just signed up for the Spring Farm Share, so I’ll add to this blog with updates on my weekly boxes. During their spring season, they have a ton of greens, root crops, radishes, peas, apricots, and cherries available. To say I’m excited is an understatement.