I've been getting asked a lot about my participation in CSA programs. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture (or Community Shared Agriculture or Community Sustained Agriculture). Basically, it’s an alliance that you form with an independent farm in your community. Once a week during the growing season (May through October-ish), you pick up a crate of freshly harvested produce. Many farmers offer full or half shares depending on how many people live in your household. You sign a contract and pay for everything up front, so if your farmer’s crops get weakened or destroyed because of weather or other disasters, you share the burden.
There are several reasons why I believe in this concept. It lets me know exactly where my produce comes from and connects me to the earth. It encourages me to cook pesticide-free vegetables that are in season, and makes me appreciate the innately pure colors and textures of “real” food. Thanks to my CSA, I visit a farmers market with community-minded people, and once a week I see my farmer (or his wife or one of their children) and feel like we’re all winning.