Summer Means… CSA Season!

Summer CSA Season

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Since I’m spending the summer in the Midwest this year for the first time in a while, I figured I’d participate in one of my most favorite Indiana things – CSA SEASON. I don’t know about you, but what I do know is that I firmly believe CSA season is genuinely the best.

What is a CSA you ask? Don’t Worry! I’ll Tell You!

The textbook definition of CSA is community supported agriculture. The website Local Harvest defines the system like this “…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. Interested consumers purchase a share and in return receive a box of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.” And the one I’m in runs May-November-ish. It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

My CSA is a small group of individuals/families that purchase from a small Amish farm (they still use a manual plow!) about 90 minutes from Indianapolis. Two families that participate in the CSA actually organize, facilitate pickups, and handle all the money issues related to the CSA. During the non-Rona times, we’re usually invited out to see the farm where all of the shares originate. But in 2020, who knows!?

I think it’s pretty amazing to KNOW the source of where your food actually comes from and how it’s grown. I also think it’s really neat to be a part of the “community” of people involved as well. We get to hear from the farmer himself and chat amongst our community of buyers often.

Click here for the silliest TikTok I made about my CSA pickup!

Keeping all that in mind, here are just a few reasons that I LOVE getting a CSA share and while I always choose to be a part of one while I can:

  • I find it VERY cost-effective as a single person. My share comes out to around $20/week. I also love that there is no middle man (the store)! My money is literally going from my pocket to the farmer producing the food. Plus, it’s all fresh and organic.
  • In the Corona Times, it limits my trips to a busy store! I don’t have to pick up much on the occasions that I actually do have to go to a grocery store.
  • I get to support a small business. DIRECTLY.
  • My CSA doesn’t accept credit cards for purchase, they only take cash or check. That helps keep the costs lower and I don’t rack up interest on a credit card.
  • You can’t beat the freshness of the food. It’s literally pulled from the ground in the morning and I pick it up in the late afternoon! It’s about as fresh as it can be!
  • The VARIETY of produce is the best! Sometimes there are even things that I’ve never seen before and I eat a lot of food. Vegetables, herbs, berries, molasses, bread, flours, butter, honey – you name it! They grow it or make it!
  • I get to be creative when planning meals! We usually find out what we’ll be receiving a few days before pickup. If I know what I’ll be getting, it makes planning my grocery pickup or delivery MUCH FASTER.
  • When I’m buying from the CSA, I’m generally eating healthier foods. With all these vegetables, I can’t let them go to waste! Spinach in smoothies, greens in every meal, veggies portioned for later use in my freezer – you name it, I’ve probably tried it! I’m getting as creative as possible with my food from the CSA.

It’s worth mentioning again – it’s really awesome to know EXACTLY where your food is coming from! CSA shares are great for your wallet, perfect for improving your eating habits, and you’re supporting the local economy! It’s a win-win!

If you’re looking for more CSA resources, start here:

  1. Local Harvest
  2. USDA Local Food Directories
  3. Edible Indy’s List

TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS: Do you have a CSA? Are you a farmer’s market type of shopper? I wanna know!

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