Just this week I picked up our first CSA by Christina and Brian from Lacewing Farms. I felt so happy, I had to share all those goodies with you in my Instagram stories immediately. I’ve arranged the spinach, spicy greens, green asparagus, sweet potatoes, bok choy and the eggs neatly on our porch table and captured them with my phone. Afterwards, the weird little food nerd in me took the lead and I spent the rest of the evening sorting the vegetables, reading about them and deciding what dishes I want to make with them.
When I went to bed a question crossed my mind: what is a CSA actually? I did not sleep that well this night and so I decided it is time to find an answer. The next morning, I sat down and researched my butt off. Well, I found what I was looking for and today I summed it up for you. So, let’s go:
What is a CSA?
The acronym stands for Community-Supported Agriculture. With a CSA you buy a share of the products of a farmer, usually vegetables which is paid in advance with a fixed amount. This gives all of us without a large garden the opportunity to regularly buy local, fresh products. A really nice way to shop sustainably and consciously.
The procedure is very simple. If you opt for a CSA, you meet the farmer of your choice once a week during the season and get a load of freshly harvested produce. In addition, you get the chance to learn directly from the people in charge and are able to ask what the names of your veggies are or what’s currently in season. I was noisy and wanted to know how Christina likes her spicy greens (as a salad or sautéed) and the bok choy (grilled with oil, pepper and salt). You will barely find that kind of information in a supermarket. Thanks to the different concepts there is a CSA version for everyone: CSAs for the whole or only half the season, half a CSA, add-ons with eggs, etc.
There are similar models in Germany, often offered including delivery. That makes sense in a densely populated country. Here in Tennessee though, it would take the farmer days to supply all their customers and on top the fuel costs would make the CSAs unprofitable.
All in all, a CSA is a great way to incorporate healthy and fresh food in our meal plans. You will pamper your palate and body while simultaneously supporting the farmers in your area, the local economy and ultimately the environment.