Want to eat great local food and support local farmers? Join a CSA and do just that. Not sure what a CSA is or how to join a CSA? We can help you get started.
Have you already started thinking about fresh vegetables and fruit from the garden? Do you enjoy the taste of fresh crisp carrots, sweet corn fresh off the stock, juicy tomatoes? Local farmers have been preparing all this and more, just for you!
Local farmers are starting to offer their freshest produce and vegetables to you their friends, neighbors, and the local community. You can find these locally grown vegetables and fruits, eggs, and more at a variety of places; farmers markets, food co-ops, and CSAs. You may already be familiar with the farmers market and the food co-op. A CSA is Community Supported Agriculture. It’s a popular way to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.
If you aren’t familiar with a CSA, this is it in a nutshell. A farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.
Spring and summer shares are now available from a variety of farms around Oklahoma and the United States. Shares generally feed 3-4 people and a half share, when available, will feed 2-3 people for 1 week. Costs and length of the membership will vary by the farmer. You can expect to pay anywhere from $20-$40 a week per share. Memberships can last 8 to 20+ weeks. Food is generally available for pick up at the farm or at designated pick up sites.
Why You Should Join a CSA
Joining a CSA has rewards for both the farmer and the consumer.
Advantages for farmers:
- Marketing can be done early in the year before their long days in the field begin.
- Payments are received early in the season, which helps with the farm’s expenditures.
- Have a guaranteed market for their products.
- Have an opportunity to get to know the people who consume their products.
Advantages for consumers:
- Receive ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits.
- Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking.
- Find that kids typically favor food from “their” farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat before.
- Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown.
- Keep their money local which helps everyone.
WHERE TO FIND A LOCAL CSA
- Eat Well Guide. Find local, sustainable, and organic products in your area. The site includes CSAs, farmers markets, farms, food co-ops, restaurants, and more. You can search by city, state, or zip code.
- Organic Consumers Association. Organic Consumers Association is a non-profit organization that focuses on issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children’s health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability and other key topics. Their website offers a “Get Local!” feature that helps you find local farms, businesses, local news, and events in the US and Canada.
- Local Harvest. Local Harvest has a comprehensive directory of CSA farms, co-ops, farmers markets, etc. The site allows you to search for sustainability grown food in your area.
We have been members of several CSAs over the years. We have loved the variety and value it offers our family. You can too. It’s not too late to join a local CSA and support local, sustainable agriculture. If you already belong to a CSA, we love to hear about your experience. Visit us on our website, Little Family Adventure, and share your story.
Want more green living and healthy living tips? Join our mailing list below.