In the past month, two sets of friends have gushed to me about the CSA’s they have joined. What’s a CSA, you ask? CSA stands for Consumer Supported Agriculture. I first heard about CSA’s a few years ago, but this is first time I’ve heard of two friends actually subscribing to one. The concept is a good one and it’s catching on.
Here’s how it works… Consumers (that would be you) purchase a season of “shares” from a local farmer. Each week, the farmer then provides the consumer with a box, bag or basket of seasonal produce. Shares aren’t limited to fruits and vegetables – some farms include eggs, meats, cheese, bread and so on in your weekly share.
Some CSA’s require members to help with the farm work in exchange for their produce, others do not. It’s a viable alternative for those who want farm fresh food but don’t have the time or space for a garden.
CSA’s are full of perks for subscribers/members. My friend Jes who is on a quest for truly organic and good for you food loves the hormone-free meat and pesticide-free veggies she gets in her weekly share. Meanwhile my friend Katie and her hubby have been exposed to a plethora of different fruits and vegetables they otherwise wouldn’t buy, which translates to new recipes, expanded taste buds and new cooking techniques.
LocalHarvest is an excellent resource for all things CSA. Here you can learn more about CSA’s, tips for choosing a CSA, so on and so forth. Even better, there’s a site feature where you can search for area CSA’s by zip code. York and Lancaster have tons of CSA’s. Tons! Each CSA has a full description, detailing the crops and other share products, pick up times and locations, prices, contact info and consumer reviews.