As a self proclaimed sustainabilist and locavore I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m a newbie to the CSA box program. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a paid subscription to a farm’s produce for the season (June - October). Each week subscribers will receive a plentiful box of seasonal and local produce. The prepaid arrangement also makes it a source of financial security for the farmer. Helping them invest in seeds and plant crops at a time when there are many expenses and few sources of revenue for a farmer. Truly a win-win for everyone, so why was I so late to join the game?
The 3 Barriers I Overcame to Finally Join a CSA:
1. Too much produce!
Considering it’s just the two of us at home (plus the dog) I imagined being buried in produce every week. Really? Too much produce? Can a dietitian really say that?
Solution: some CSA programs offer different share sizes (what a concept)! But if not, ask a friend or family member to split the box with you. Or learn proper preserving techniques to continue eating locally in the upcoming winter months.
Will I turn into a leek if that’s all I eat everyday for a whole growing season?
Solution: Sometimes I forget we live in southwest BC – each box comes with a promise to be packed with a diverse amount of produce each week as the season progresses. And worse case scenario my culinary horizons will be expanded as I prepare different dishes with the same products. Plus, I’ll get to try new produce I typically wouldn’t buy. Also, some CSA programs offer a substitution of a particular vegetable…I’m assuming this is for all the cilantro haters out there!
3. Pick-Up locations
I had this preconceived idea (without doing any investigation) that the pick-up locations would be out-of-the-way in Timbuktu. Solution: there are so many local farms now participating in the CSA program I bet there’s at least one farm that has a pick-up location in your neighbourhood. I’m in Ambleside and low and behold there’s a pick-up location for Crisp Organics at Park Royal every Wednesday.
To help you overcome your own CSA barriers – for the next 19 weeks (the Summer Harvest Box season) I’ll post every week: what was in my box, the recipes I used to consume all the produce or the preserving techniques I did to continue eating that particular produce in the upcoming winter months. And worse case scenario, I’ll let you know what I had to compost or give away to my produce-loving family & friends.
What are your barriers?
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