Low on funds but still want to eat like a locavore? Try a CSA approach. According to the Green Schoolhouse Series, a group that builds LEED-Platinum designed schoolhouses on low-income school grounds, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great way for consumers to get their weekly produce fix with locally grown vegetables directly from a farmer in their community.
For about the price of a large pizza you can buy a “share” of a farmers’ crop. In most cases the share comes in the form of vegetables, but fruit and dairy are sometimes included. The consumer can set up a plan to receive the crop once a week or even once a month during the farming season. For example, one crop share company charges about $25 for a box of 3 organic fruits and 7 organic vegetables — plus recipes and delivery.
The best part? Both the consumer and the farmer benefit. According to Local Harvest and the Green Schoolhouse Series, farmers are able to market their produce before the busy harvest time and receive their payment early in the season. Meanwhile, consumers usually visit the farm where the produce is grown at least once per season and are able to develop a relationship with the local farmer who actually grows their food.
Ready for your own share of the crop? Check out these programs:
- Los Angeles – South Central Farmers Cooperative
- Long Island, NY – The Golden Earthworm Organic Farm, LLC
- Phoenix, AZ – Farmyard
- San Francisco – Farm Fresh to You
Click here to visit the USDA Community Supported Agriculture website and find other CSA farms near you.