Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Local CSA's


"We're only truly secure when we can look out our kitchen window and see our food growing and our friends working nearby." - Bill Mollison

We may not have a garden, but we can have the next best thing: a CSA.  CSA is a TLA (Three Letter Acronym) for Community Supported Agriculture.

The farmer’s biggest challenges are finances, weather, and marketing. CSA’s help address the finances and marketing challenges, but we will have to live with the weather, though I recommend Carol Deppe’s book The Resilient Gardener to learn how to mitigate the effects of weather.

The best definition is from http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ :

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included (such as eggs). Consumers purchase a share (“membership" or "subscription") and in return receive a box of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.”

“Advantages for farmers:

Spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin.
Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm's cash flow.
Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow.”

“Advantages for consumers:

Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits.
Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking.
Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season.
Find that kids will favor food from "their" farm – even veggies they've never been known to eat.
Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown.”

We are blessed in the Shelby County area with several farmers who offer CSA’s and deliver weekly to multiple places including farmers markets for you to pick up. The list is probably not exhaustive but it’s a good list of excellent CSA’s.

Downing Hollow Farm

Whitton Farms

Delta Sol Farm

West Winds Farms

Tubby Creek Farms

True Vines Farms

Windermere Farms

Ain’t God good!

Carl Wayne leads the Collierville Victory Garden. He is available to speak to groups at no charge. Contact him about visiting or volunteering for the Collierville Victory Garden or about speaking engagements at 485.6910 or mymaters@yahoo.com. Or contact your local extension service 752-1207.

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