green beans

What Is CSA?

Getting really great, fresh produce might be easy for those of us who live closer to rural areas, but those city folks need love too! CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. CSA allows people who live in cities to have access to farm fresh produce.

How Does It Work?

When you become a member of your local CSA, you are essentially purchasing regularly delivered “shares” of vegetables from a local farmer. You can choose to receive produce weekly, or bi-weekly. Farmers will drop your weekly serving at convenient drop-off spots in your neighborhood. As a member, you pay for the entire season and can even choose to add on other products the farmer offers, like eggs, meat and flowers.

box of eggs

Why Should You Join CSA?

The most obvious reason to join is that it forces you to make healthier eating choices. If you’ve already paid for it, you might as well pick it up. And if you’ve picked it up, you might as well eat it right? No one likes throwing money away.

Another reason why the CSA movement growth is so great is that it allows small farmers to keep and maintain their land, and continue to provide the community with fresh goods that are not mass produced and stored in warehouses for who knows how long before it reaches your local grocer.

A lot of CSA Farmers will also allow box donations. If you’re feeling overloaded on veggies and just aren’t consuming them as much as you thought you would, or plan on going out of town, you can choose to donate your weekly box to families in need of fresh produce. How awesome is that!

What Does This Have To Do With Food Preservation?

Well, glad you asked! The CSA season is just that…seasonal. While you can get produce year-round, it’s likely you will want to enjoy some juicy organic tomatoes in the winter. It’s also likely that some of that weekly delivery will go to waste. Getting fresh vegetables delivered every week is a great opportunity to try out your pickling and fermentation chops! Let’s say your CSA delivery has a gorgeous head of cauliflower in it, and you make a “Pinterest-Perfect” roasted cauliflower to go with dinner. For a household of two, you are most likely only going to make half of the cauliflower head. That unused  head is going to sit in your crisper for a while and you know it. Are you going to eat that same side dish again for dinner the next night? I doubt it. So chop it up! Throw it in a salt brine and ferment that baby! Enjoy probiotic-rich fermented cauliflower months later. Check out this super easy recipe on fermenting cauliflower we found.

fermented cauliflower on a plate

How Do I Join CSA?

There are a ton of sources online to find your local CSA, where you can then sign up online and start your pick up that week if you want to. Here are some great sites to learn more about joining a CSA:

Local Harvest

Farm Fresh To You


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