Have you thought about signing up for a CSA or produce-box subscription? Get my top 5 reasons and see how fun it can be with this video. It features farmer Jason Oatis of Edible Earthscapes and supporter Karen Bearden, plus my box of produce! We were lucky enough to catch Bo Lankenau, the singer and songwriter for Jo Gore and the Alternative there at the Midtown Raleigh Farmers’ Market.
Why I love Community Supported Agriculture Groups
- Surprise. When you join a Community Supported Agriculture subscription program, you pay the farmer in advance for a share of the farm’s bounty for a certain number of weeks. What you get depends on the farmer’s plans and skill, the weather, the farm, the critters, and good old luck. Some CSAs do you pick what you want each week, but most just give you the best of what’s in season. As Jason says in the video, only the CSA members get local asparagus this week. He and his wife and co-farmers Haruka have also introduced me to several Asian vegetables. For the past few weeks, we’ve gotten little flowers in our salad mix!
- Utterly fresh produce. I must save thirty minutes or more every week because I don’t have to trim off the tips of most greens leaves or removed bruised or damaged sections.
- Sharing recipes and tips. The farmers and the customers have great ideas for getting the most out of what you buy. Feel free to ask how to prepare something, how to tell when it’s ripe, and so forth. Judy Lessler of Harland’s Creek Farm even offered her members a copy of my book Wildly Affordable Organic so they would know what to do with what they got!
- Meeting and making friends. While it’s not considered odd to talk with strangers at a farmers’ market, a CSA can be even friendlier. Not only do I keep bumping in to others subscribers during our pickup window (11 to noon), but the Edible Earthscapes CSA members have regular potlucks!
- Convenience. I don’t have to decide what to buy or which whatever to pick out of the stack. Some CSAs will even deliver your share right to your home or office.