Living on a small plot of land you can grow more food than you’d think, but you still may need to make trips to the store for additional items. If you’re trying to eat as local as possible there are several great ways to do this outside of your own back yard. City Farmers Markets are great, stopping at local farm stands, visiting your local farmers, and joining a CSA. You may have seen the acronym ‘CSA’ before but had no idea what it stood for. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. CSA’s allow city residents to have direct access to quality, fresh produce from local farmers. When joining a CSA you purchase a share of locally grown goods from farmers in the region.
This has advantages for both the farmers and for us as consumers. Farmers receive payment early in the season which helps the farm to continue producing great product through out the season. It also gives the farmers an opportunity to get to know the people who eat their food. As consumers we get super fresh food usually picked the same day we pick it up. We’re exposed to new seasonal vegetables and learn new ways to cook them. And we get to know our farmers and know exactly where our food comes from.
Did you know produce from your grocery store, on average, travels 1,500 miles before it reaches your plate? The further produce travels the less nutritious it becomes and also less tasty!
I was so excited when I found out that our counties Cooperative Extension Office hosts a CSA made up of an amazing group of farmers in the area. Every Wednesday, myself and a group of other Master Gardeners gather to put together the boxes for this season subscribers. It is a great experience being a part of helping others eat local and of course I subscribed to my own box as well; how could you pass up all the local yumminess?
If you’re interested in joining a CSA and don’t know where to start, here’s a great website to help you locate a CSA in your area: Local Harvest – Find a CSA
What is your favorite way to eat local?