Since the COVID-19 pandemic started in America, one scene has been typical; empty grocery store shelves as people flock to stores stocking up during the stay at home orders.
It’s never been more important than now to support your local farmers! If you can afford it’s an ideal time to sign up for a CSA is an effective way to show your support. Eating local boasts tons of health benefits, but it also benefits the environment. There are several reasons to buy a CSA, but below, we give you five reasons why you need a CSA this season.
WHAT IS A CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. In short: it’s a weekly subscription box for locally grown food! For decades, CSAs have supported small-scale farmers and strengthened local food systems.
How does CSA work?
A CSA is a direct partnership with a food producer that typically involves paying a lump sum upfront as “shares” to help fund the farm’s efforts during the growing season. The idea is that the influx of money keeps the farm running, and once the farm harvests its crops, you get your money in the form of seasonal produce on a weekly basis. Unlike picking and choosing from the options at a farmers’ market stand, a CSA or farm “share” is like a subscription box of whatever is seasonal. The can veggies change week to week depending on what’s ready to harvest.
5 REASONS TO GET A CSA
1. Supporting your local farmer – it’s no secret that many of our local agricultural producers are being pushed out by large scale and commercial farmers. Indianapolis has several amazing farmers, and the best way to show your support is to put your money where your mouth is…literally.
2. It encourages more locally grown fruit and vegetable consumption – you have no excuse not to eat your veggies when they’re showing up on your doorstep each week. We love fruits and veggies around here, but if they’re not in the house, we’re less likely to eat them. No more excuses now!
3. You get to experiment with different types of produce – We can all get stuck into eating the same thing over and over. Having a variety of pre-selected vegetables gives you one less thing to worry about and encourages you to try something you usually wouldn’t.
4. You’re eating in season – Seasonal food is fresher, tastier, and more nutritious than food consumed out of season. Your produce didn’t travel thousands of miles and wasn’t touched by several people. Your leafy greens are harvested the same day – it doesn’t get better than that!
5. It saves you money – Buying directly from farmers cuts out the middleman and transportation costs helping you save money. Divide the price by the number of weeks of your program and find out the price per week. You will find that it is cheaper than going to the grocery store, and who doesn’t want to save money!
Ready to get a CSA? Growing Places Indy, an Indianapolis-based nonprofit, offers an affordable CSA program, and it’s currently open! The program is likely to fill up so, don’t miss out. To learn more, visit https://www.growingplacesindy.org/buy-a-csa.