When I first discovered organic Community Supported Agriculture it completely changed my urban Toronto life. I’ve decided to revisit this theme since moving to San Francisco recently. Did you know that it’s common to order groceries on Amazon here? My poor little culture shocked heart... Yikes! There are more reasons to go to the source besides healthy eating and convenience.
Here is a list of 5 super simple reasons to join:
1. Saves time and money (if you cook!)
Most CSA members save money compared to a similar amount of quality produce bought at the grocery store or from a farmers market.
What you give up in choice, you definitely gain in convenience. Picking up a box simply takes less time that going to the farmers market or choosing, bagging, and paying for produce at the store.
2. Fresh, locally grown organic produce
This is by far the number one reason I participate in CSA. Farms give their members the very best of their produce.
3. Being connected to the seasons and what grows locally
At our home we eat peaches only once a year. They are fresh, juicy and delicious. This year we canned peaches and tomatoes to enjoy during winter months. If eating local and supporting the local food system is important to you, joining a CSA is an easy way to do it.
4. Learn about new vegetables and fruits
Some CSAs have box options. For example, some farms will give you box options and substitutions based on your preferences and what they are harvesting that month. Sometimes the substitutions are included and other times they cost extra. I really like the surprise of discovering new heirloom varieties of vegetables and the challenge of figuring out what to do with celeriac!
5. Support the livelihood of organic farmers
What has our world come to when a hardworking farmer needs to compete with Walmart and Amazon? Organic farmers are not only sustainers of nutritious food, they are custodians of our planet!
It’s amazing what a difference knowing where your food comes from and who grew it makes. Eating and preparing food can shift from something that you do because you’re hungry to a satisfying ritual that you really enjoy. Also, you’re sustaining the livelihood of a local farmer and supporting ethical farming practices. Many farms hold members-only pick-your-own events for high-demand produce in peak season too!