The return of the longer days, bouts of sunshine, and the promised pop of crocus and snowdrops have signaled that spring is here. If you’re like me, you’re dreaming of your garden and the tastes of fresh, local produce. To ensure that you have consistent access to the upcoming seasonal bounty, consider signing up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. In general, every farm has a unique CSA model. However, in most CSA models, consumers pay a set price at the beginning of the season for a subscription to fresh vegetables.
Furthermore, CSA’s are beneficial for both the growers and the consumer. For farmers, the upfront investment gives them the funds to prepare for the growing season. While the consumers receive freshly harvested produce, recipes, a relationship with their farmer, and the satisfaction of supporting the local economy.
Unique CSA Models
In these models, multiple farmers cooperate to create a CSA program. This allows farms to be more efficient by specializing in a few crops. Examples of aggregated CSA programs include:
• Capital Village Trade Cooperative– Serving the Lansing area
• City Commons CSA– Serving Detroit
• The Local Grocer CSA – Serving Grand Blanc, Fenton, Flint.
Farmers using this model provide consumers a credit to buy down at the local farmers market. Often, consumers receive a bonus for their early investment and are able to have “first pick” of market goods by pre-ordering. Examples of these programs include:
To find a CSA farm in your area, go to www.localdifference.org and select “Find Farms and Food.” Check the CSA box.
In addition, we are also hosting 2 opportunities to get to farms following the Community Supported Agriculture Model:
- March 9 : Genesee County CSA Meet & Greet at Vibe Well in Fenton
- March 24: Washtenaw County CSA Meet & Greet at Blom Meadworks of Ann Arbor
Kelly Wilson, RDN, is the Director for Community Partners for TLD. She has been anxiously planning her herb garden and cannot wait to have her hands back in the soil. Contact her at email@example.com
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