What is CSA?
It stands for “Community Supported Agriculture.”
Okay, what is Community Supported Agriculture? Members purchase “shares” of the farm for the season and get a share of what the farm grows. We plant a wide variety of vegetables and herbs, and stagger the planting so you get a solid selection of salad mix, vegetables, culinary herbs, etc as the season goes on.
This system shares the rewards — and the risks — of local small scale farming. Farming in Southern Colorado is hard — REALLY hard. Our climate, soils, water and market mean too many small farms come and go each season. CSA shares let you support your local food providers to make sure we keep local food local, and local dollars that way too.
CSA shares are a *GREAT* way to get a steady stream of organic, local, and crazy-fresh produce at a bare fraction of the cost at the store. And it supports local small scale agriculture in YOUR region.
What Are We Growing This Year?
|Kale||Summer Squash||Mustard Greens|
|Salad Mix||Winter Squash||Collards|
|Turnips||Bell Peppers||Snow Peas|
|Turnip Greens||Marconi Peppers||Pea Shoots|
|Beet Greens||Eggplant||Spaghetti Squash|
|Radishes||Cucumbers||Red and White Onion|
|Sweet Corn||Cilantro||Green Onions|
|Butternut Squash||Watermelon||Sugar Pie Pumpkin|
|Delicatta Squash||Sweet Potatoes||Microgreens|
How is it different from Bountiful Baskets and other food co-ops?
Vegetable and food “buying clubs” allow people to pool their resources to purchase large amounts of food, including veggies, in bulk. That brings down the cost for each member. In order to get the best price and most quantity, those organizations often source their fruits and vegetables from large wholesalers. Those companies often get their food from the California Central Valley, Mexico, or other farms hundreds — even thousands — of miles from your kitchen.
Sure there are upsides to the mega co-op model. One or two farms facing a drought or hail storm doesn’t matter, because they have networks of many huge farms. One big hail storm won’t impact your ‘box.’
But the downsides are huge: food may be weeks old by the time it reaches your kitchen; it probably traveled a long way, with lots of fuel cost and environmental impact; and your food dollar is leaving your community, when you have small family farms right here in Southern Colorado struggling to keep local food local.
If you got used to preserving and using veggies “in bulk” from a program like Bountiful Baskets, but want to go “beyond organic” and support your local farms — with, we admit, a bit more risk along the way — then Community Supported Agriculture shares are a great option.