One thing the internet has done well is to give a voice to people who are not normally able to promote themselves much. For example, you’ll notice that more and more independent musicians, filmmakers, and artists are able to sell their amazing and often customized products. The same has been true of farming! Because of the internet and the power that it offers people, many more people are able to buy “shares” in a farm and get their own fresh-grown food.
There are several ways that you can get involved in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). You can pay a monthly fee and get a big box of home-grown food either delivered to your or available for pickup at certain locations.
This box has all kinds of things in it, depending on the season. During the spring you can get some vegetables that are just starting to come up, or some fresh chicken. During the summer you can get more berries and fruits, because they are starting to mature and ripen.
During the fall is when most of the really good stuff comes; you can get apple cider, turkey, chicken, tomatoes, pumpkins, and all sorts of squash. You can also sometimes get fresh cinnamon rolls, pumpkin pies, and fresh bread. My family typically makes a Thanksgiving feast completely out of things from a CSA box. The food tastes so much better than food from a grocery store; you can taste the difference, and other people will taste it as well!
Another way you can get involved in CSA is to purchase your share through farm work instead of through money! Some farms let you get a box for free if you come and work for an hour or two each month. This is a great way to learn how a farm works, and where food comes from. It gives you a much greater appreciation for the food that you eat if you had a hand in picking and caring for it.
You always care more for something that you helped create, and food is no exception. It’s like the difference between watching someone playing awesome drums and learning to play a drum for yourself; it’s much more satisfying to be involved in the process!
Eating CSA foods not only gives you a greater appreciation for the food industry in general, it is better for you! Most private farms that offer food to the public like this do not use harsh chemicals to treat the food; therefore, it is much more healthy to eat that kind of food instead of dangerous, chemical-filled foods from the store.
So there you have it: CSA benefits you not only by giving you a glimpse into the food industry, but also by giving you better health from better-quality food. Wouldn’t you rather eat meats (or vegetables) where you can TASTE the difference between them and store-bought foods? CSA farms are a perfect way for you to support your local farmers.