Every year around this time I think, "Ooh, we need to join a CSA!" And, every year, I've missed my chance. For those of you who may be wondering, CSA stands for community supported agriculture, and allows interested consumers to partner with a particular farm for the season. Members benefit from knowing they will have a reliable, high-quality supply of locally-grown produce, which can usually picked up weekly in their own neighborhood. Farms benefit from the boost of out-of-season income, which arrives in the late Winter/early Spring, just in time to purchase the seeds and supplies they need to start the growing season. It's a clear win-win, and a great way to ensure the success, sustainability, and even growth of our local food supply. Because of this, it's a popular option, and shares at farms around the area usually book up quickly. By March or April, you're most often out of luck.
This year, however, there are still shares available at several area farms, including Red Fire Farm, an amazing organic farm in Granby, MA, which has spots open in Cambridge, Brighton, and Western Mass as of this writing. Shares are also still available at The Food Project, Stillman's Farm, and several others. Of course, I can't help but wonder if the unusual number of openings is due to our current economic situation, which also makes these available shares a cause for concern. I still think it's a great opportunity for those of us who, like me, often fail to think about fresh produce until the first daffodils begin to bloom. But, by the same token, it's all the more important that those of us who've been considering a CSA to take advantage of this moment; it's our chance to show our support for the farms and farmers who fill our markets each year with such a bountiful, healthful array of planet-friendly produce.
I've bought my share at Red Fire Farm. Where will you get yours?