When you are picking a CSA share there are a number of things to consider. Here are just a few:
- What type of produce do you want? Do you want a vegetable share? Or are you looking for fruits? Maybe you want some other type of farm fresh products such as meat, cheese, eggs or milk. Be sure you know what you’re signing up for. Also, if you are picking a produce share, see if the farm lists the typical produce they grow. Although it may change slightly from year to year , you should be able to get an idea if the produce will be to your liking. You’ll also want to know how long the growing season is. When will you receive your first box of produce? Early spring or summer? How long is the growing season?
- What size shares are available? Do they have different types of share sizes? If you’ve never done a share before, you may want to start with a small share or half share. Knowing the options will help you pick the right share.
- When and where will you pick up your share? Where you pick up your share matters. If it’s out of the way or takes a long time to get to, you may be tempted to skip a pick up or two, or begin to resent having to pick up your share. Having a pick-up point close to home or work can make picking up your share more convenient.
- Similar to location, when you pick up your share matters. If Tuesday is especially chaotic in your household, having to also pick up your share on Tuesday can make it a chore. Find a farm that works with your schedule. And, because life is bound to get in the way one or two times, you’ll also want to know what happens if you can’t pick up a box one week. Will you be able to reschedule any boxes? Or will you lose it?
- Can you work for part of your share? Some farms let members work on the farm to pay for some of their share. If you want to reduce the cost of your share or just want to get a little closer to the experience of the farm, choosing a farm with this option may be for you.
To find local farms offering CSA shares, visit FairShare CSA. You can search farms share types, farm features, pickup days, and much more.