Thursday, June 9, 2011

CSA ~ Local Harvest

Sunflower by Ellen McHale
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Summer is moving into full swing as the school year winds down and our local farms are getting ready to harvest the first of their crops.  If you were lucky enough to buy a "share" in your local CSA then you are only a few weeks away from your first delivery of freshly picked produce.

Participating in a CSA connects you to your community, your farmer and your food.  
How does it work?
Early in the year participating farms or farm stands will offer a limited number of shares or seasonal memberships for the coming harvest.  Your money helps the farms fund the seed, planting and harvesting of those crops.
What's in it for you?  
You get a box or carton of freshly picked produce each week from your CSA.  In the Northeast, your produce is harvested and ready for first pick up mid to late June and will run for appoximately 20 weeks - ending in November. A typical share gives you just about a half bushel of vegetables and herbs on a weekly basis.  Some of those veggies will be familiar to your kitchen and some will be unfamiliar and there lies the fun of it all.  Exposing yourself to new vegetables and  herbs and trying out new recipes.  It's eating locally, seasonally and healthy - the way we were meant to eat.

This  year we are "splitting" a share with another family because often there is a surplus of produce especially during a good growing season.  Our local CSA is Kenney Farm in Concord.  If you are looking to find a CSA in your area then log on to or and type in your zip code and they will direct you to a CSA in your area.
Is there a risk involved?
Sure - the weather is the big factor in determining what crops do or do not come to market.  Some seasons are better than others.  But there is the "We are all in this together" philosophy which just feels right for the times.  We are supporting each other during the lows and we get to reap the rewards together during the highs.  I think that makes the food taste that much better - don't you?
Rooster by Ellen McHale
There may be still time to buy a "share" or split a share with another family.  If you are interested in eating locally then check out Local Harvest , Just Food or Kenney Farm.  I am really looking forward to our first delivery and will share some recipes on how to cook or serve some of the less familiar veggies.

see you soon,