Maybe you’ve been wondering: what is a CSA? Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs allow members to buy shares in local harvests. As a CSA member, you pay for a season of produce, and receive weekly boxes or bags of prime pickings from the farm. We joined one recently, and found it was a great, economical way to get kids to try healthy new foods—and support our local farm at the same time.
There are a few catches about joining a CSA. First, you don't typically get to pick what arrives in your share each week, which can prove daunting if you have children who are seriously picky or have rigid nutritional needs. If you are gone for much of the growing season, paying for weekly vegetables might not make a ton of sense—though many some farms allow you to skip weeks. But if you're mainly local, interested in trying to eat more regional produce, and are willing to get a little creative with your cooking, a CSA is definitely worth trying.
For my family, it worked out well, and my kids ended up trying a lot of new fruits and vegetables that I might never have bought in the store (though we did end up feeding our backyard bunny more than his fair share of dandelion greens). Some of the CSA programs, like Wilson Farm, offer recipes and suggestions for what to do with your share, which are really helpful.
With such a wide variety of options including the programs below, you're likely to find a CSA that will work for your family. Many offer deliveries or conveniently located pick up sites, and there is an array of prices and sizes and produce choices from which to choose. Should you decide to join one, everybody wins: you get fresh, healthy food and local farmers get the financial support they need and deserve.