I am fully aware that I am running the risk of sounding like an angry hippy protester. I don’t like the idea of ranting via blog about the importance of environmental awareness, but nevertheless, here is my piece. The concept of Community Supported Agriculture is too good to be kept to myself.
A couple months back, we posted an article about the Slow Food Movement in Phoenix; an expanding group of Phoenicians working to support local, organic farming businesses. Established before everyone and their mom decided to “go green”, Slow Food is a network of farmers, growers, foodies, and restaurateurs who strive to reduce the global footprint of one of the largest segments of our economy. This can be done by buying local items, rather than the mass-produced, chemically engineered foods covered in pesticides, that are then transported via ozone loathing, diesel-emitting trucks. Caring about the environment is easy, but doing our part is far more difficult.
I now present you with an absolutely brilliant solution to that nagging urge to do your part, while selfishly enjoying some absolutely unbelievable local cuisine. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs are the perfect combination of experiencing new people and food, all the while taking your business away from food growers that use environmentally harmful methods.
Think of a CSA as your personal subscription for the best locally and organically grown produce and farm products. Unlike a farmers market, by joining a CSA, you’ll ensure a pre-packaged basket of the prime products headed to market. To find a CSA in your area, visit the Local Harvest Website to search by zip code, or by desired farm product(s). Each farm has a different CSA program and has a wide range of “share” dues. Typically, to join a CSA, you’ll need to purchase a share in their program for a flat, upfront cost. Not only does owning a share ensure a mega-fresh supply of fruits and veggie’s at your home every week, you’ll also be supporting local farmers early in their grow season so they are able to cultivate the best possible produce throughout.
Nearly every farm offers a CSA program; you may be surprised to see how many farms there actually are in your area, as a matter of fact. There is no doubt you’ll be able to find a farm near you. Cut the need to make trips to the grocery store down by investing in a CSA program to pick up food as easily as the store, but are exponentially fresher, and more than likely, less expensive.