Right now in MN, where is is currently 19 degrees, it is hard to think about summer. But, now is the time to start thinking about warmer temps, going to the Lake, and fresh fruits and veggies!
Winter. . .
Usually I make weekly trips to the Mankato Farmer’s Market in the summer. I always have a hard time deciding what to buy and how much at one time. I also know that I don’t pick up some fruits and veggies because I don’t know how to use them. That’s why I am looking into signing up for a CSA.
Community Supported Agriculture, also called CSA.
The following is from the Local Harvest website on CSA.
Thinking about signing up for a CSA but want to learn more about the idea before you commit? Read on.Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. 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.
This arrangement creates several rewards for both the farmer and the consumer. In brief…
Advantages for farmers:
- Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin
- Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow
- Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow
Advantages for consumers:
- Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
- Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking
- Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season
- Find that kids typically favor food from “their” farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat
- Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown
Some of the CSAs I have looked into also have half share programs, either getting food every other week or getting half the food every week. And they usually come with a newsletter or recipes on how to use the foods they provided that week. And they provide the fruits and veggies that are in peak season for that week. I used the Local Harvest website to find farmers in my area who participate in CSA.
I picked a local family that farms in New Ulm, MN. They have a half share program, which I think will be perfect for Scott and I.
We will get half the amount of food every week, and each box comes with a newsletter that has recipes and tips for how to use the ingredients in the box.
I am now VERY excited for summer and for my first delivery in June! Check it out and see if there is a CSA share available in your area! More posts to come about CSA this summer.