Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Today was an easy day of running, unlike many Tuesdays (Helloo, Speedwork Tuesdays), given that we had the race on Sunday. Although it was only a 5k, I subscribe to the belief that you must listen to your body regardless of the distance and that intuitive fitness keeps you active, healthy, and injury free (oh, in addition to strength training and foam rolling). 4 miles on the mill with another 10 minutes on some cardio equipment. Add in a few weights and I called it a day. Now that we got through that, let’s get to the original intent of this post.

In the month since I’ve watched Food, Inc., I’ve done a lot of research on the food industry and its disgusting practices that have a stronghold on America’s eating habits. Despite what you think, you do have a choice in the matter. In an effort to help support the farming community and to make small waves in changing food industry practices, I’ve officially convinced Chris, after lots of begging, to be a part of the Red Fire Farm CSA. Being a part of a CSA Farm Share (Community Supported Agriculture) means that Chris and I have bought a share of the Red Fire Farm in order to help sustain its business in return for a portion of its weekly haul of organic vegetables. Although there is the ability to buy into 24 weeks of veggies, we decided that we would first start with the 20 week Summer program. Families can also buy into a fruit share, egg share, and/or flower share, all for an additional charge. Red Fire Farms also allows CSA members to head to their farm located in Granby, MA to pick shares of excess crops, like beans and strawberries, for free!

Screen shot 2014-03-18 at 9.04.27 PM Screen shot 2014-03-18 at 9.04.43 PMThe amount you pay is based on a sliding scale and the honor system, as Red Fire Farms hopes that those who are financially more stable can contribute a little more, so that those who are not as financially sound can pay a little bit less. Although the total cost of the share feels daunting at first, when you break it down into a weekly budget, its most likely right around what you are already spending on veggies. This particular CSA also allows you to pay for your share in smaller increments. I also knows friends (who first shared this information with me) that split the cost of the share with another couple, making it that much more affordable! Furthermore, Red Fire Farms thankfully has pickup locations in two separate parts of Somerville (where we currently live), with one of those being less than 5 minutes from us. They also have pickup locations in Cambridge, Newton, Brookline, Jamaica Plain, etc.!

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Each Thursday for 20 weeks starting in June, I will be able to walk to our Somerville location, reusable bags in hand, and pick out as many veggies that are available to me that week…and yes, that is the danger of buying into a farm share. If you have a poor growing season, then your shares will obviously be smaller and you’ll have to supplement your supply by going to the grocery store. However, the same goes for when the season is flush; the more they grow, the more I can bring home!

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Finally, Red Fire Farms states that:
Our goal with the CSA is to provide a good source of seasonal local produce for the community that is a good value for organic food, and raised sustainably for the environment and the farm crew. Staying with the local outdoor seasons of the produce makes the CSA a better value. While saying that, our farm is one of the leaders in season extension, and you will get crops earlier and later than at other places because of the extra work we put in in the fields!”

I look forward in taking part of this year’s share and am excited to take the time to create dishes made from locally sourced, organic, seasonal vegetables. Once the season arrives, I will certainly share my experience with you readers!

Has anyone else participated in a farm share or shop regularly from farm stands throughout the summer? Gripes or likes?

2 thoughts on “Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

  1. Hey, thanks for the comment! I can’t wait to see what happens CSA farm share! I happened to notice on your blog that you’ll be at the Runners World Half Marathon in Boston…if there is any kind of blogger meet up (even for us no name bloggers) I would love to participate!

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