Support your Local Farmers.

The first signs of spring mean CSA time! CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. I’ve been participating in CSA programs for 2 years now, and I’m completely thrilled with the process and the products I receive.

potatoes-for-dinner2

Photo from A Way to Garden.

Here are the basics of a CSA: (Source: LocalHarvest)

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 5.14.47 AMI love this program because: 1.) I’m supporting farmers in my community.  2.) I never know what’s going to be in my basket. I’ve been introduced to so many new produce items through this program and it forces me to think outside our usual 7-10 meal rotation. 3.) I know my produce is fresh – generally it’s picked the morning you pick it up.

One of CSA baskets from last season.

One of my CSA baskets from last season.

Most shares are sold in small or large portions. Small is usually 2 people, large is 4 people.  You can expect to spend $400 -$900 for  “a season.” A season varies by farm, but generally runs April – September (ish). Some farms operate a little differently but you can usually expect about 6 months worth of produce. The CSA I participated in last year was $550 for 22 weeks of produce (this was the small share). It came out to $25 per week, and I got SO MUCH more produce than I would for $25 at the store. If you’re unsure if you’ll be throwing away a lot of food, split a membership with a friend! This is a great way to gauge how much of it you will actually use.

Here is the most comprehensive list of Oklahoma CSAs I’ve been able to find:

Missing from this list (that I know of):

beet_sprouts

Photo from Erica’s Garden.

Maybe you can’t make the commitment to join a CSA?

If you have commitment issues, there is also a program called Bountiful Baskets that could be just for you!

Bountiful Baskets is $15 a week to participate, and you only purchase 1 week at a time.  No commitment! There are various locations throughout the state to pick up your haul.  Bountiful Baskets finds produce from small farms all over the US and Mexico to put together the weekly baskets. You are supporting small farms, but not necessarily local farms like you do with the CSA. Also, Bountiful Baskets is in nearly every state! Check their location page to see if they have one near you.

Both are fantastic options, and there is just something really satisfying with knowing where your food comes from.  I hope you all take a minute to explore different options and maybe find one that is perfect for you. I am very passionate about this, so please feel free to ask any questions!

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