Community Supported Agriculture
As a girl born and raised in the Midwest, it is of my humble opinion that farmers make the world go ’round. Even though I now reside in the sixth largest city in the United States, I find myself still looking for ways to continue to support all things local, including where my food comes from. One of my favorite books on this subject is Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet. If you’ve never really paid any mind to where you food comes from, this read is an eye opener.
I’ve been wanting to be a part of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for a while now, and this Spring I finally joined a local one via Steadfast Farm in Queen Creek, Arizona. Every other week, I walk down to my local coffee shop and pick up my box of fresh, certified organic fruits, vegetables and eggs direct from Steadfast Farm.
What is a CSA? Steadfast Farm‘s website says it best:
CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture”. Developed in the 1960’s in Japan, CSA programs are designed to build a relationship between the farmer and community. Members (that’s you) buy shares in the farms output before the season starts, and then reap the benefits of the harvest each week as the season progresses. CSA members agree to share in the fluctuation and variations inherent in farming, and understand that their produce will be grown with organic, sustainable farming practices. Members are, in essence, shareholders in the farm, thus becoming invested in its successes and failures. This joint venture allows the farmer to receive capital before the season starts when they need it most and allows them to be in the field during the growing season instead of worrying about selling their produce.
There are other benefits to supporting local farms and CSA programs. As consumers, we have become accustomed to buying fruits and vegetables shipped from all over the world, regardless of the season. This is a waste of resources and energy. This also means that food is harvested before it has ripened in order to make the journey. This long journey sacrifices the nutritional value and flavor of the produce. By choosing locally grown food, you ensure that you are eating the freshest, most nutrient dense and best tasting food possible and being environmentally responsible at the same time.
I look forward to coming up with new recipes and continuing to learn about new fruits and vegetables that have all been locally grown right here in Arizona. And honestly, I’m looking forward to fewer trips to the grocery store! Follow along with me as I’ll be blogging about each week’s box + recipes.