Posts Tagged ‘CSA’

Posted on February 15, 2011 - by

From Farm to Your Table: CSA Sign-Up Season

Sure, much of the U.S. is covered with dismal, soot-sprayed snow, and it may feel like we’ve entered Narnia (always winter, never Christmas), but guess what, a new growing season is about to begin!

If you haven’t already done so, this is peak season to sign-up for a community-supported agriculture program, or CSA. What’s a CSA, you ask? It’s a subscription program to a farm. For a set fee that is paid at the beginning of the growing season, you will receive a share of the farm’s harvest for the rest of the year. Usually, this includes a basket of vegetables and fruits, but can also include eggs, meats, dairy products and honey. Your food will be fresh, seasonal, and local, and you’ll have the opportunity to get to know the farmer who produced your food.

Sure, you could buy local and seasonal produce from the grocery store, but CSAs are unique in a few other ways. Since shareholders pay upfront at the beginning of the year, you help the farmer with his cash flow and act as an investor in this year’s harvest. This shared risk means that if the growing season is good, you reap the benefits with more abundant produce, and if the Northeast is hit by tomato blight, well, you will not receive any tomatoes in your CSA basket. In addition, because you have little control over what is in your share, you will have to be flexible with what you cook. This can might fill you with dread or excitement. Personally, I am always thrilled to find an unrecognizable vegetable in my basket, and find that CSAs force you to broaden your horizons.

To give you an idea of what you might get, one week last fall, I received an acorn squash, a bunch of beets, three heads of red leaf lettuce, half a dozen jalapeno peppers, green peppers, rainbow swiss chard, red potatoes, a sack of green and yellow beans, onions, parsley, and broccoli crowns. The next week, I received red onions, apples, oranges, pears, bananas, a bunch of swiss chard, jalapenos, potatoes, a butternut squash, and a nice stalk of brussels sprouts.

The only downside is you will spend a lot more time washing dirt off your produce compared to store-bought goods. And in the interest of using up your groceries before they spoil, you may also find yourself considering such avant-garde flavor combinations as brussels sprouts with orange-jalapeno chutney. But that is a small price to pay.

To find a CSA program near you, check out Local Harvest.

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Posted on July 12, 2010 - by

FRESH Heroes: Rain Lily Farm

FRESH Heroes: Rain Lily Farm, TX from ana joanes on Vimeo.

Who said you can’t live in the country AND in the middle of the city at the same time? I know sounds kind of contradictory until you visit Rain Lily Farm in Austin. I’ve visited quite a few farms in the past few years, and I got to say that I just fell in love with this one, and with the three wonderful women who are making it happen, Stephanie Scherzer (in this video), her partner in Farmhouse Delivery, Elizabeth Winslow and Kim Beal.
Go visit if you live in or near Austin and check out their delivery and landscaping business.


Ana Joanes
Director, FRESH


Posted on November 9, 2009 - by

News From the Field: Kansas City

News From the Field is meant to bring you stories from supporters around the world who have used FRESH to educate and motivate their communities. Share your stories with us by emailing

From: Laura in Kansas City
Attended the FRESH premiere in Kansas City on 5.31.09

“I saw FRESH during your KC premier (which I enjoyed very much) and wanted to let you know a couple actions I have since taken:

HenHouseMarket* Joined the CSA at Hen House put together by Diane and David Ball. Two weeks into the program now and very excited to be a part of the movement. My daughter and husband are slowly following along with me and both enjoyed last night’s dinner consisting solely of CSA food.


* Volunteered to co-chair our home owners association’s water quality committee which tests our residential lake and the streams coming into it. Initially test results will be utilized locally and by Missouri to gain factual data to monitor and remedy sedimentary pollutants.

* Joined Green Drinks KC – environmental networking.

* Volunteered to be part of the watershed consortium for the cities of Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Lake Lotawana, Carriage Oaks, Odessa, and a portion of unincorporated Jackson County, Missouri. The consortium quickly developed cohesion and cooperation its first year showing great promise for successful education of residents and businesses within the watershed.

* Networked through job search clubs to find a few people that may collectively team to provide energy audits and repair services to homes in need of energy conservation.

It feels like I’ve started the multiple paths to reap future benefits. But I’m sure my efforts are small compared to the number of people and visibility your movie and the safe food movement has touched. Thank you so much.

The greatest benefits I see with the evolving food supply chain, renewable energy, conservation of natural resources, alternative use to keep trash levels lower, etc. is that each offers a huge cooperative Win-Win-Win climate big enough for everyone to play a part. Everyone give something and we all gain a lot. What a welcome change from the pyramid environment the corporate world revolves in.”