Join the growing (pun intended) number of people who are participating in local CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) and becoming part of the solution while improving your family’s health. Also known as “subscription farming,” getting a CSA share is a way for people to buy in-season products like fruits and vegetables and even meat from local farmers. It’s a win-win for everyone. It helps the farmers when they need funds in the beginning of the growing season, while offering members great fresh produce fresh from the dirt. Listen to GD Meg as she gives us the scoop on just what a CSA is in a Green Light: Short and Sassy vignettes.
There are so many good reasons to participate in your local CSA. Here are 5 the come to mind:
- Supporting local businesses: Our friend Woody Tasch, the author of Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing As If Food, Farms and Fertility Mattered, has a growing (again pun intended) community of investors that believe in the benefits of investing in our local farmers and producers is a great way to create healthier more sustainable local economies. It is a new conversation about rebuilding the economy by building one food enterprise at a time.
- Eating locally grown and hopefully organic produce: it is no secret that eating foods grown with pesticides are not good for us. We just spoke to Fran Dresher about her movement Cancer Schmancer, and she talked about the fact that babies are being born pre-polluted now. Yikes!! Not all locally grown produce is organic, but in researching in our area through the Food Shed Alliance, we found out that most local farms were transitioning to organic, which means they were in the process of eliminating harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides. It can take a few years for conventional farms to be certified as organic. There are also many ways that farmers minimize or eliminate pesticides and harmful chemicals, but do not have the resources to fully qualify for organic certification. Ask the farmers at your local farmer’s market or CSAs about what their policies and practices are.
- Knowing where your food comes from: With all the “green washing” going around, there is no downside to buying from a trusted community member. And it’s nice to know that you are treading more lightly on the planet by not purchasing produce flown in from other countries.
- Eating seasonally: This is a little more challenging after being used to getting pretty much whatever you want any time of the year. But even if you don’t want to be militant about it, you can make it a creative challenge and make the bulk of your diet seasonal. Start with checking this seasonal food guide. Search Google for great recipes for food that is in season in your region. Obviously some seasons will be more interesting and/or challenging than others. The other good news is that the produce you eat in season is more favorable and nutritious at that time.
- Teaching your children about the where food comes from: If you ask most children where their food comes from, they will tell you the grocery store. Teaching our children where food comes from and how it is grown will make them more likely to be adventurous and healthy in their eating habits and maybe turn them into better custodians of the planet too.
To find out about CSA in your region @ LocalHarvest.