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CSA2Do you want to eat local, but don’t know where to start?  CSAs—Community Supported Agriculture—could be the way to go!

As a CSA member, you pay the farm before the growing season and when it’s harvest time, you receive a share of fruits and vegetables once a week. CSA programs vary widely; some only include produce while others may offer meats and eggs.

Last year, in an effort to supplement my vegetable garden, I decided to sign up for a CSA. My CSA was from a farm in Harvard, Massachusetts. The 20-week half share started at the end of July and lasted through the first week of December. Every Saturday morning, I drove to the farm to pick up my share and was excited to find a variety of fruits and vegetables, many of which I already eat, but a few new ones I had not tried before. Believe it or not, I had never tasted kale or parsnips before receiving them in my CSA! Now I eat kale every week and add parsnips to soups.  As an added bonus, every Wednesday the farm sent an email with a list of what would be in the box that week.  This made meal planning so much easier! The produce was so beautiful that I took a picture of my box each week to document my experience. Towards the end of the season, the farm offered maple syrup and honey. The highlight of the CSA program was meeting my farmer, Chris, and thanking him for growing my food!

CSAs are a great way to support local agriculture and to try new fruits and vegetables. Be sure to be flexible as Mother Nature will dictate how the growing season will be. Eat seasonally and try new recipes with the fruits and vegetables that you receive each week. You can’t get more local than eating foods that come straight from the farm to your table. The taste is amazing!

For more information on Massachusetts CSA farms and to find a CSA program near you, go to: http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/csa_farms.htm. There are 184 farms that offer a CSA program in Massachusetts. Some have early deadlines so sign up today!

Written By:


WIC Nutritionist

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