CSAs are great for the farmer; they make it possible to avoid taking out large loans in the spring, they allow us to provide just-picked produce to our customers, and they make it possible for us to experiment and try growing new crops that we wouldn’t necessarily be able to wholesale (tomatillos? bok choy? why not!) They also allow us to better know our customers, and to become more involved in our community.
As long as you enjoy produce – CSAs are a great fit for most people. There are the obvious perks: you save money, and you get incredibly fresh fruit and vegetables. You also get the experience of eating and cooking seasonally, and learning about local agriculture, new vegetables, and new ways to prepare old favorites. Many people find that kids, especially, form a strong connection to “their farm”, and are willing to try new items that they might otherwise shun, as long as they come from the “their farm stand”. Adults, too, often find that joining a CSA (much like having a large garden) changes the way they eat and cook; you eat more produce if your fridge is full of it, and you think about cooking in a new way as well. Suddenly gazpacho makes complete sense — of course you want to make a cold soup out of tomatoes, jalapenos, bell peppers, and cucumbers in August — you need to use them up!
Many of our CSA members use the CSA to gently nudge themselves towards better eating habits, and towards a healthier lifestyle. If your goal is to eat more produce, and to cook more healthy meals, a CSA is a great way to go. Our CSA entails 100% choice, which makes it an especially great fit for people who like many types of fruit and vegetables, but might not want kale, herbs, and broccoli rabe every week.