How do you know CSA is right for you?
The Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model is a growing trend in the world as more and more folks recognize the need to choose food that is grown closer to home and support farmers in their community. Did you know Pilgrims’ Produce has been offering CSA shares for close to 30 years?! That’s right. While we do think it’s a pretty awesome way to get veggies and fruit for your household, we also realize it’s not ideal for everyone. There are other ways to support your local farmers: such as shopping at the farmer’s markets, ordering online, or coming out for U-Pick.
So how do you know if CSA is right for you??
Before you sign up for this seasonal commitment ask yourself these 6 questions to see if the CSA model is a good fit for you:
- Do you want to know who grows your food? Does it matter to you if you can put a face and a name to the veggies you bring home? (ok, maybe a dirty, sweaty & beardy face isn’t the best somedays). Joining a CSA means you are committing to a specific farm and its farmers for a season, through thick and thin. You understand that food production is at the mercy of the weather and seasonal forces that come. You choose to stand by your hard-working farmers and receive with open hands whatever bumper crop or hail pelted food they can offer.
- Do you care if it’s fresh and tastes good? Some folks are pretty habitual and stick with the same meals they know and love year round, whether the ingredients are in season or not. The truth is, once you start eating with us, you might never go back to being satisfied with store bought winter tomatoes, or slimy spinach in plastic tubs again. We grow for quality, taste and freshness. We plant varieties that we are excited to try out, and good old tried and tested favourites too. We are sort of food snobs and know what a real strawberry is supposed to taste like in June. Joining a CSA means you eat seasonally when fruits and veggies are at their peak. You will likely discover that some foods you thought you hated, actually taste amazing (because it was grown in good soil, harvested when ripe and is super fresh!)
- Are you keen to try new foods? Part of being a CSA member means you will be on an eating adventure! There may be new varieties and crops in your harvest box that you’ve never tried before. You will be encouraged to try out new recipes. We are here to encourage you and help you learn to love this eating adventure! We provide inspiring recipes in our weekly newsletter to help you along.
- Do you need full control in menu planning?? CSA members learn to be flexible as the weekly box of veggies changes throughout the seasons. We carefully plan and decide what goes in each week’s box based on what’s fresh and in season as well as what goes well together for easy meal planning. We offer a SWAP bin if you are not keen on eating something in your box (trade it for something else you love). We also offer Add-Ons through our online farm store so you can buy more of what you love each week.
- Are you willing to work at eating the CSA way?? It usually takes some time for folks to master eating the CSA way. It’s a learning curve if you are not used to cooking with these raw ingredients fresh from the field. There may be weeks when you feel like a failure and don’t know what to do with the weird veggies rolling around in the bottom drawer of your fridge. We’re here to challenge you and cheer you on with your goals to eat a cleaner diet and make new habits.
- Are you looking for the cheapest prices and best deals in town? It’s true, buying locally grown food can actually cost more than food from far away. Why is this? Many reasons from naturally warmer growing conditions elsewhere, to cheap and unjust labour forces, and industrial-sized mono-crops and machinery to make things “efficient”. While we don’t boast to be the cheapest bargain around, we do want you to know we do our best to keep prices fair. Fair for our workers (our team are local folks from our community), fair for the land (we aren’t trying to create cheap food at the sake of ruining the land), fair for ourselves (dang! Farming is hard work… it better at least pay the bills!), and fair to our customers (we aim to feed our friends and neighbours with the highest quality food we can!) We know prices are going up everywhere so we are trying to keep our costs low so we can still offer fair prices to those who choose to buy from us! We carefully analyze each crop and set prices that we feel are best for everyone.
Well? How did you do? If you think CSA is the right fit for you, we’d LOVE to have you share in our harvest! Check out CSA details and sign up here.