Have a CSA membership? – Remember, the “C” stands for Community!
In my neck of the woods, these are the first few weeks of the 2014 CSA season! CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a farming model where people buy “shares” or “memberships” directly from the farm and in return, they receive seasonal vegetables each week throughout the growing season. CSA’s offer folks a way to purchase fresh, local and typically organic produce, directly from the farmer. By purchasing a share they are willing to stand behind and support the farmer through the rewards and challenges of the growing season. (To learn more about CSA’s click here.
The year before I joined the AmpleHarvest.org team, I worked for a CSA in northeastern PA. I made the CSA deliveries each week to the members who were eager to receive fresh, seasonal produce. What I learned from that experience is that people have their favorites – one family might love kale and another might never really catch on to what to do with it. I started to know which people were going to be thrilled with what was in their weekly shares and which ones would be ready to throw in the towel or sob if they got another kohlrabi! Some CSA’s offer a swap box where you can exchange something you know you’ll never eat for another item, but some do not. So if the family doesn’t share this unwanted produce with another family member or neighbor, my guess is that it goes to waste – either forgotten about in the fridge only to meet its demise in the compost bin or worse, the garbage.
And once the growing season is in full swing, it can become difficult to keep up with cleaning, chopping, cooking or freezing all the vegetables in your share. So here’s where we are asking you to remember to keep “community” in your CSA share. When you find yourself overwhelmed with more fruits or vegetables than you can use, share, freeze or put up for the winter, please consider finding a food pantry near you where you can donate your extra produce. Click here to find one near you: www.AmpleHarvest.org/findpantry
When you share your abundance, you’ll be reducing food waste and helping another family in your city or town have access to fresh produce. If you are a part of a CSA, please distribute this information to the farm you belong to and to other CSA’s in your community so they can let their members know about AmpleHarvest.org. By sharing this information and your extra produce, you can help feed a hungry family and keep “community” in your CSA share!