What’s In a CSA?
With a New Year’s resolution to eat healthier and get more involved in the community, this could be the year you sign up for a CSA share. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a way for farmers to secure a market for their produce for the season. By purchasing a share up front, customers don’t have to fuss over weekly transactions on their farm visits, and farmers have funding for any seed or equipment needs that are often costly at the start of the growing season. What does a CSA include? Aside from a weekly share of produce from June to October, here’s what else it comes with:
1 Getting to know your farmers on a new level
Only a short walk away from where you’ll pick up your fresh bundle of veggies are the very fields where they were grown. The farmers who pulled them from the ground only hours earlier are likely just a short proximity from you at the time of pickup, too. How often can you say this is the case when you buy food at the grocery store? The farmers here at Wolfe’s Neck Center use our CSA program as part of their training, and because of that, are eager to meet the customers who are supporting their seasonal experience. If you get the chance to interact with them on your weekly pickup, take advantage of this greeting to learn more about their farming passions, top recipes, and other food topics. You can guarantee they’ll be just as interested to hear from you as you are to hear from them.
2 Local food means less environmental impact
From aisle to shelf to your cart, and cross it off your list. That is typically about how much thought we give to our food choices. But give it a moment of thought now and really break it down…the trip our food takes to get to our plate is environmentally taxing! You don’t need to convert all of your food purchases to being local and in season, but strive to move it a bit more in that direction. Without even realizing, our societal lifestyles have a burden on our environment but we can take small steps towards lessening it.
3 Fresh food in its peak season and harvested within the last 24 hrs (tastes better, too!)
As if a bounty of organic vegetables every single week weren’t enough, you can be sure that they sure are tasty, too. That’s because our farmers prioritize regularly stocking on Farm Store to maximize freshness. There’s also something to be said about having the production plot be only a few hundred feet away from a stunning saltwater coastline that gives the fertile soil a little extra quality. You can’t beat it!
4 Special surprises
At the root of the CSA program is to train new farmers on how to operate a small-scale farm enterprise. Our educators prioritize teaching the importance of creativity and diversifying production in order to stay viable in a competitive market. You’ll enjoy seeing the special ways they mix it up throughout the season, from a variety of produce each week, to colorful floral bouquets, and the occasional atypical vegetable variety to spice up your recipes.
5 Supporting farmer training
Sarah, a New York City transplant looking for a reset. Ripley, a college student with GIS mapping skills ready to be put to use. Amanda, a Patagonia employee with a company-supported opportunity to further educate herself on regenerative farming and supporting the community. These are only a few of the apprentices who have spent a season or longer as part of our farmer training program. By purchasing a CSA share, you are funding this hands-on educational program and also creating an outlet for apprentices to partake in an active small-scale farm enterprise.
6 Weekly visits out to the coast…stay awhile!
Who doesn’t need a little oceanside escape every now and again? Make a weekly trip not only to pick up your veggies but also to give yourself time in nature. Summers in Maine are beautiful and should be maximized with time spent outdoors. Make the most of your pass through Wolfe’s Neck Center and stay for an extra half hour to go for a walk.
7 Mixing it up & getting out of your food habits
It can be easy to get into the same old-same old swing of meal prep and weeknight dinners. You don’t always need to veer off course, but add some pizzazz to your regular go-to’s with fresh ingredients that you may not have picked up in your normal grocery shop. Plus, our farmers curate their weekly CSA newsletter with a recipe they either can’t wait to try or can’t wait to share with you.
Our Community Supported Agriculture registration launches for members only on Thursday, January 23 and the general public on Monday, January 27. Choose from our Vegetable or Meat shares, or sign up for both. Click Here to learn more.← Back to Blog