New to the concept of CSA’s? Read on.
CSA (Community Support Agriculture) participants subscribe and pay in advance for weekly deliveries that start in mid-May and continue every week through early December. We pick your veggies, pack them, and deliver them the next day to the Wylde Center. Our delivery date is Wednesday.
Your share generally includes about enough veggies for a family of four for a week (though you will likely need to supplement the CSA delivery, particularly with fruit) OR enough to keep a family of two that likes to cook at home in ample vegetables with a little left over to preserve for the winter and early spring. Each week’s share includes 5-7 items. How much subscribers receive each week can vary a little bit since weather affects how the plants are growing and how much we can harvest. We occasionally provide stone-ground grits or cornmeal from corn grown on our farm, and sometimes supplement with organic produce grown by other nearby family farms.
The contents of the weekly share varies by the season: in the spring, it’s cool weather crops such as leafy greens, crisp radishes, beets, onions, garlic, and strawberries; in the heat of the summer, it’s fruity vegetables such as corn, cucumbers, peas, peppers, tomatoes, melons, blueberries; in the fall, it’s root crops and more hearty greens such as broccoli, butternut squash, kale, turnips, sweet potatoes, apples, collards.
The happiest subscribers are those who greet the weekly surprise of what’s in the box with excitement because they like learning about new veggies and eating seasonally, and welcome the opportunity to share cooking ideas with others. Shares are packaged in individual boxes or sometimes in bags. They are not marked with names. The contents are similar, though there can be a little bit of variation (mustard greens vs. kale, for example).
Because the average food item travels 3,000 miles before making it to your plate in Georgia, local organic food is fresher and tastier. Hard to argue with that. But beyond taste, participating in a CSA helps to underwrite changes in our food system that will increase access to fresh, healthy, and safe food. Right now, subsidies make mass-produced, unhealthy food cheap in comparison with fresh fruits and vegetables. Conventional agriculture – both production and transportation of food – consumes 1/5 of the oil our country uses in a year. By funneling your food purchases to locally produced organic foods, you’re not only helping small family farms stay in business, you’re helping to establish a less resource-intensive system that results in cleaner air, water, and soil (and tastier and more nutritious veggies)! Best of all, CSAs promote deeper community connections between and within neighborhoods and farmers. We hold an event for our CSA customers on the farm each year so that they can learn more about where their food comes from and meet us, the farmers who grow the food.