1. Know Where Your Food Comes From
In a CSA share your produce comes directly from your farmer so you know who is growing your food and how. If you have questions about their farming practices or values just ask! With this level of transparency, you can rest assured knowing your farmer cares about what matters to you.
2. Support the Economic Democracy of Small Farming
By supporting small family farms you are fostering the broad-based independent decision making of economic democracy. You are helping to break up the concentration of power from a select few profit-driven corporations and making room for values beyond the bottom line. You are supporting an economic system where more people are empowered to meet their basic needs with dignity and can have meaningful control of their resources.
3. Save Money
CSA shares offer more value for your food dollar! 100% of your money goes directly to the farmer to grow and harvest high quality food for you. By working directly together, farmers and consumers can cut out the middlemen and extraneous costs (trucking companies, retailers, lobbyists, etc.).
4. More Selection
Most CSA farms strive for ecological diversity and a wide variety in crop production, so over the course of the season CSA farmers usually grow more types of vegetables than found at a grocery store. You’ll discover varieties that you might not otherwise find or buy, so get ready to enjoy your share of the season’s bounty including leeks, celeriac, edamame, garlic scapes, daikon, and many other diverse goodies!
5. Better Flavor
CSA farmers select for more flavorful varieties of produce and the time between harvest and consumption is reduced so you get fresher food that tastes better. Unlike industrial farmers that harvest for shipping and shelf-life, CSA farmers harvest for ripeness and flavor. Eating seasonally means every week you receive what the conditions were most fit to produce so you’re guaranteed to eat your veggies at their peak. Get ready for a culinary delight and adventure!
6. Have fun!
There are lots of exciting ways to enjoy your CSA share- including visits to the farm, u-picking, potluck dinners and community events. During the growing season there is always something fun to do with you and your family to celebrate local agriculture, enjoy good food and mingle with other CSA members. To find out more about opportunities to have fun with your CSA share ask your farmer or check out the event calendar on Tompkins County Cooperative Extension’s website http://ccetompkins.org/
7. Grow Your Local Economy
By being a CSA member you are keeping your food dollar circulating locally to support a healthy community and environment. In an era when 120 acres of farmland are permanently lost every year in the US and the average person has or will face job insecurity, becoming a CSA member helps ensure your farmer has what they need to invest in land and labor. CSA members who pay upfront of the growing season help provide the capitol when the farmers need it most to avoid high interest loans for equipment, seeds, fertilizers or other inputs required for a successful growing season. If everyone in Tompkins County spent just 10% of their grocery dollars on local foods we would generate 16 million dollars of economic value for our region.
8. Put the Culture Back into Food
Community Supported Agriculture allows people to reconnect to the land, the farmer, the food, their community and themselves. Indulge and reestablish your roots. Experience a tomato fresh off the vine and still warm from the sun. Meet and socialize with others that share a common desire for fresh food. Exchange recipes, stories, experiences and grow together with the season.
9. Ecological Stewardship
Did you know that the average conventional bite of food travels 1,500 miles? Or that only 10% of the amount of fossil fuel energy used in the world’s food system is for producing food; the other 90% goes into packaging, transporting and marketing? Or that 97% of fruit and vegetable varieties have become unavailable commercially and replaced by only a few uniform varieties since the turn of the 20th century? Industrial agriculture was designed to produce mass quantities of limited types of food cheaply, but now we are learning the real costs and unsustainability of this system. Community Supported Agriculture offers an environmentally friendly option by reducing food miles, maintaining biodiversity and practicing farming techniques that will keep the land fertile for generations. Thankfully our local CSA farms grow lots of great things right here, so look no further! Decrease your carbon footprint- become a CSA member!
10. CSAs are healthy for you, your community and your environment!
For all of the reasons above and many more, become a CSA member and experience for yourself why over 1,500 of your fellow community members have chosen to invest in themselves and partner with our local family farms.