As my beautiful box of fruit arrived this week, I realized that I hadn't ever taken the time to write about Consumer Supported Agriculture and the huge benefits! In a time where money and water resources are tight, supporting locally grown food and CSA programs are one of the best use of your finances. By buying locally grown produce, you reduce the cost to you and the farmer, saving everyone money!
So what is CSA and how does it work? Different local farms run different programs. Our box comes from Farm Fresh To You and is delivered to my house every other week. For $30, every other week, I get a massive box of delicious fresh fruit and veggies. We choose the Mostly Fruit option which this week contained 3 avocados, a bunch of carrots, a pound of kiwis, at least 3 lbs of apples, 3 lbs of two different kinds of pears, and a handful of tangelos and blood oranges. The box is different every week and part of the fun is never quite knowing what will arrive. Farm Fresh has a whole variety of programs that start as low as $20 to large boxes your entire office can share at $140.
Other CSAs like Good Humus, Full Belly, Del Rio and Soil Born, deliver to a local spot where you pick up your boxes. Some farms offer produce, nuts, jams, jellies and bread. Many farms create a special relationship with their customers and offer farm tours, picnics and harvest celebrations.
Even those of us (me!) who are not big on vegetables, have really enjoyed our produce box. Other than actually living on the farm, you don't get much closer than apples with morning dew still on them when the arrive at your house. With my CSA box, there are always healthy and inexpensive snacks on my counter and more choices in the lunch box!