It seemed serendipitous this morning, as I browsed the various headlines of the Maine news emails I receive, to stumble across this one: CSA fair reveals diversification of central Maine farms. Just yesterday, Nick and I signed up for a CSA here in Georgia called The Dirt Farmers. We’re already excited about our first delivery next Saturday.
Participating (buying “shares”) in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture program) offers so many excellent benefits both to you as the consumer and to the local economy in terms of supporting farmers within your state or region. For example, the CSA we just joined estimates that for every dollar spent at a grocery store, only 25 cents remains local. For every dollar spent with a CSA, 75 cents remains local.
Perhaps more importantly to many people, the food itself is better for you – it’s picked more recently, meaning it has more nutrient value when you eat it; it was generally allowed ripen naturally; and your fruits and veggies are often naturally or organically grown (even without the certification, which can be cost-prohibitive for small farms).
In most CSAs, a number of farms producing a variety of fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats, and more will collaborate to put together your CSA box, ensuring you all receive a variety of foods. Our CSA offers a “Farmers Choice” box in which they pick and choose what you’ll receive, or a “Custom Share,” where you log into their online store and can choose which items you’d like using your points.
It’s a lot like online grocery shopping… but much, much better! Here’s to eating well…