What, you ask, is a CSA? It stands for Community Supported Agriculture, which is the best way for consumers to purchase the freshest seasonal foods from their local farms. Farmers are currently preparing their farms for the upcoming growing season and to do so, require funds, not readily available this time of year. To supplement, many offer a limited number of shares to the public that must be purchased in advance (CSA’s.) These shares, which can be full or half shares, result in weekly baskets filled whatever is in season from the farmers’ bounty throughout the farming season. Some farmers require that you work a few hours on the farm as part of the agreement, but not all. Some farms allow you to choose the items in your baskets; others do not. Rest assured, you will receive a variety of foods all growing season to keep your families well-fed.
Keep in mind, that when joining a CSA, you are going to get what the farmer has produced (and have paid for it up front.) If the season suffers from unfavorable weather or problems with pests, crops may suffer, impacting your share. But, adversely, you are privy to produce picked within hours, not days like in chain grocery stores. You may be introduced to fruits or vegetables that you have never had before. Some farms even partner with other farms offering eggs, meats, breads and dairy.
Consider joining a CSA this spring as an adventure. An adventure where you can mingle with your local farmers and community; try new foods and preparation methods; and best of all, bring ultra-healthy, unprocessed meals to the dinner table, without you or your food having to go far. Your family and friends will benefit, as will your local economy. Just think about how much this reduces your carbon footprint!
Here is a list of some local farms currently offering CSA memberships. Find the one closest to you, but act fast as growing season in rapidly approaching!
- Blue Blaze Farm - Danielsville, PA
- Clear Spring Farm - Easton, PA
- Eckerton Hill Farm - Lenhartsville, PA
- Genesis Farm - Blairstown, NJ
- Good Work Farm - Emmaus, PA
- Gottschell Farm - Coopersburg, PA
- Heritage Farm - Nazareth, PA
- Josie Porter Farm - Stroudsburg, PA
- Little Red Hen Farm - Muncy, PA
- REAL Gardens - Easton, PA
- Reeder Farms - Easton, PA
- Shooting Star Farms - Easton, PA
- Suyundalla Farms - Coplay, PA
- Tap Root Farm - Shoemakersville, PA
- Terra Fauna Farm - Northampton, PA
- Willow Haven Farms - New Tripoli, PA