CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. This means you purchase a share of the harvest from the farmer directly before the growing season starts. Payment upfront from the community like this helps farmers plan for the season, and do things like purchase seeds or make repairs around the farm. It also provides them with some financial security, in case there are low sales at a rainy farmer’s market. A CSA helps consumers get access to fresh, local produce and build a relationship with the people who grow their food. Buying a share is a great way to challenge yourself to eat more seasonally and cook more at home. You’ll feel content knowing you’ve supported your local economy and made a healthy choice.
Each CSA differs in how you join – some farms will have rolling sign ups, some you need to join by a specific date, and some are only able to offer a limited number of CSA shares. Shares are usually delivered weekly or bi-weekly to a community drop-off location, like a church or gym, but sometimes you can get it delivered to your home. Lots of farms now offer on-farm pickup, letting members get that much closer to where their food is grown. Crooked Row Farms, one of Vinaigrette Salad Kitchen’s local partners, offers both home delivery and farm pick up. They are located right off of Winchester Road! Shares usually last the whole growing season, from May to October, and you might even find a Winter CSA in your area. The most popular type of CSA is for fruits and vegetables, but there are many new CSA’s for meat, eggs, and value-added farm products which include: jams, salsas, herbs, and cornmeal. Yum!
Sometimes shares come in different sizes. How do you know which one is right for you?
To enroll in Crooked Row Farms CSA: https://www.crookedrowfarm.com/2018-season.html
Not in the Lexington Area? Find a CSA near you! https://www.ams.usda.gov/local-food-directories/csas