Have no idea what that stands for? Well, neither did I at the start of today. In my search for where to find local pastured eggs in New York City, I came across the tip of all tips; signing up with a CSA program. Community Supported Agriculture programs are structured in a way that consumers pre-sponsor small organic farms in their upcoming crops and then receive a weekly or bi-weekly share in the harvests.
For example, the CSA location nearest us in Brooklyn, has a plan where we can receive a full share of organic vegetables, fruits, eggs, flowers once every two weeks for the equivalent of $42 a pickup. This is possible because we would pay in full at the start of the season, or at least in two parts, in order to invest in the farmer's upcoming crop, so he/she can then focus fully on quality, diverse produce instead of having to cater to general demand and protect against losses.
This system is also an ideal in sustainable local eating. The farms themselves are smaller and consume far less energy, and since they are local within a couple hundred miles or less, the shipping issue becomes obsolete. Not to mention, more delicious sun ripened foods that reflect the natural cycle of the earth's harvest.
I don't know about you, but we have a tendency in getting stuck in a rut when it comes to our produce purchases. So the idea of having a different, and season appropriate selection of produce to enjoy on a regular basis thrills me to no end! It is seasonal however, so you will want to sign up early for the upcoming season which generally runs from June through November. Eating local and organic, plus supporting farmers in their pursuit of sustainable agriculture practices makes being part of a CSA an awesome Save with Green Tip!
Author: Shannon Dabannon