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Farm At Your Front Door
By Chloe Roth

There are myriad reasons we get lazy about what we eat—jobs, finances, convenience, social obligations, you name it. But whether you work during farmers market hours, prioritize saving money over saving the environment (yes, this is a slight guilt trip), or have simply defaulted on your New Year’s resolution to eat locally, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box can get you back on track. When you subscribe to a pre-paid CSA box, the farm delivers, either to your home or a nearby drop-off location, whatever is freshest and in season that week, plus extra goodies like recipes. To find out more about how CSAs work and why you should use them, we caught up with a few local farmers and educators.

Who should subscribe to a CSA box? “CSAs are a good fit for folks who appreciate fresh, organic produce,” says Ryan Casey, owner of Blue House Farm in Pescadero, Calif. “Most CSAs try to provide a balanced mix of commonly used fruits and vegetables, but they also like to include the occasional unique item as an opportunity to introduce people to less common vegetables that are not seen on the supermarket shelves. The members of our CSA tell us they enjoy it because it forces them to eat better, cook more, and stretch their culinary abilities and creativity.”

How do CSAs benefit me and how do they benefit the farmer? “By taking part in a CSA, the consumer is putting their food dollars directly in the hands of the farmer,” Casey continues. “The consumer pays the farmer before the season begins, and as produce is available for harvest, it is delivered back to the consumer. The upfront cash flow provides the farmer a guaranteed sale and the ability to purchase seed, compost, and labor, distributing the economic risks behind growing food among all involved, both grower and eater. Farming is a business with high risk, high overhead, and small profit margins. By removing the middleman, the farmer increases their profit margin, develops a more stable business, and is better able to be a good caretaker of the land and provider of food.”

 

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This article was published:
Food Issue - Released July 2012
Issue 6 / Version 2 | Buy print copy here
Issue 12
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