5 Reasons to Join A CSA
If you’re unfamiliar with what a CSA is, it stands for “Community Supported Agriculture”. A farm that has a CSA invites members to buy a crop share before the start of the farm season, and then compiles a share box of just-harvested produce for each member every week of the season. At Schoolyard Farms, our farm share program runs for 20 weeks from June – October, providing members with approximately 5-8 bunches of in-season produce each week. You can learn more about our CSA and how to sign-up here.
Considering joining a CSA? Here are 5 reasons why you should become a member this season:
1. CSAs keep small farms going by funding farm costs upfront before the season begins. Knowing what their farm budget is and how many people to grow for, allows farmers to curate their crop plan based on the specific needs of their business. This helps to minimize food and resource waste. It also enables farms to stay afloat by better allocating funds to much needed resources like tools and skilled labor.
2. CSAs inspire communities to support local business instead of “Big Ag” companies. This benefits local economies and local pockets. Additionally, CSAs help to cut out middleman sales by allowing customers to buy from the farmer directly. This means your organic veggies are fresher and cheaper than the ones on the grocery store shelf.
3. CSAs provide the freshest produce possible. At Schoolyard Farms, we harvest all the vegetables in each share the same day our members pick up. Did you know produce begins to lose its nutritional value as soon as it has been harvested? This means that it can lose as much as 50% of its nutritional value while it is transported to stores and sitting on shelves. Picking up your produce the day it is harvested means you won’t lose those nutrients.
4. By joining a CSA, you are signing up for healthier eating. CSAs bring a variety of produce into your house and enable you to try new, fun varieties of heirloom vegetables. Eating a variety of crops through the growing season means you will experiment with new vegetables and recipes you may not otherwise try. When you’re eating in-season produce, you create for yourself and your family an understanding of what real food is and a better appreciation for its true production value. This means better nutrition choices and health for you and your family.
5. CSAs are convenient and help families to save money on organic produce. If you break down the price per week of your CSA membership, as well as the price per bunch of vegetables, you will likely find that the cost of a CSA is comparable to or less than what it would cost to buy organic produce from the grocery store.