WHAT IS CSA?
CSA Stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Riiiight, and what is Community Supported Agriculture? In short, a group of people, passionate about food, get together and partner with a local farmer to have weekly deliveries (in this case John Krueger of Starbrite Farm in Andover, NJ).
When you become a member of a CSA, you’re purchasing a “share” of vegetables from a local farmer. Weekly, from June until November, your farmer delivers that share of produce to a convenient drop-off location in your neighborhood (in this case the Ironbound).
CSA is different from a co-op in that members pay for an entire season of produce upfront (in this case $565 which breaks out to less than $24/wk). This early bulk payment enables your farmer to plan for the season, purchase new seed, make equipment repairs, and more.
Shares usually include 7-10 types of vegetables, enough for a family of 4. Most CSAs also offer half shares for smaller households or busy urbanites who frequently eat out.
Many CSAs also offer the option of other produce from local farms. For a few extra dollars a week, you can add fruit, eggs, meat, and even flowers to your order (CSA Newark does have an optional fruit share).
CSA allows urban dwellers to have direct access to high quality, fresh produce grown locally by organic farmers.
WHY JOIN A CSA?
- Your support helps small local farms stay afloat.
- Connect with the food you eat by meeting your farmers and exploring the farms.
- Engage in your community by joining with others over a common purpose–good food!
- Buy the freshest food available for you and your family.
- Explore new foods and learn to cook with them.
- Find out that beet greens aren’t just good for you, they’re tasty too!
- Eat more of the freshest vegetables and fruit in season.
- Share healthy eating habits with your kids. Expose them early to a variety of regional produce.
Protect the Environment
- Support farmers who take care of their land by growing food in ways that take care of the soil.
- Significantly cut down on the number of miles your food travels from the farm to your plate.
A great resource on CSAs and how to start one in your ‘hood is http://www.justfood.org. Thanks for all this great information Just Food!
If you are interested in joining CSA Newark, contact Alyson at CSANewark dot com.