Be a Locavore and Get in on Community Supported Agriculture, CSA
Presenting were the four CSA farms that make drop-offs at the Chicago farmers' market near my house, with each farmer talking a little bit about the benefits of CSA's as well as the details of their own CSA subscriptions.
What Did I Learn?
Here are some of the coolest things I gathered from the evening:
- The farms offer a box of vegetables that comes straight from their farm to you. This means that the veggies are not packed in plastic during transport as is typical with non-local produce.
- Most of the farms that presented are certified organic or expecting to get their certification this year.
- They use practices such as crop rotation and strategic planting to avoid the need for fertizers and pesticides.
- Most of them expect to sell out of shares soon. One farmer only had three shares left as of the meeting.
- The farms are entirely transparent and encourage people to visit their farms (and help out if they want).
- CSAs allow the consumers to shoulder some of the farmers' risk, making it more feasible for farmers to grow food crops in areas with more volatile climates.
The farms that presented were Mike and Clare's Organic Farm, Red Tail Farm, Montalbano Farms, and Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm.
What is a CSA?
Here's a definition from LocalHarvest.org.
A CSA season typically runs from late spring through early fall. The number of CSAs in the United States was estimated at 50 in 1990, and has since grown to over 1000."
The Word "Locavore"