Find a Local CSA in Hawaii

Hawaii CSA - Community Supported Agriculture Guide

What's a CSA?

A CSA, sometimes called a Community Supported Agriculture Program, is a program with the goal to put people who use farm-grown products, (and that's almost all of us), and the Hawaii farmers who grow them together. This program works on a subscription basis. Subscribers can buy a subscription to the produce service for either a growing season or for the whole year.

How Hawaii CSAs Work

Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Hawaii CSA subscribers. Instead of having to wade through the produce section every week farmers do the job for them. Local farmers put together a weekly basket of produce (sometimes meat and dairy as well) and deliver it to an established, central location, or subscribers can pick it up at the farm.

It's a concept that's increasing in popularity around the country given it keeps out the middleman, ensures farm-fresh produce at affordable prices, and is good for the environment because it minimizes transportation costs, as well. CSA subscriptions usually run from early May through September or October, dependent on where you live.
 

Benefits of CSAs in Hawaii

What are the benefits of joining a Hawaii CSA program? Well, the produce does not have to be moved to a warehouse or group of supermarkets, it's only moved once, to the pick-up location, so subscribers are helping save on fuel costs and spare the environment from emissions. One key advantage is that the produce is just about as fresh as you can get, since it is chosen, sorted and shipped generally on the same day.

Often, it's less expensive than buying produce through a HI supermarket, because it gets rid of the middleman and links the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Hawaii CSAs help the local economy, too, because they keep your revenue right in the area, instead of sending it to other countries or other states where produce may originate.

Hawaii CSA Programs Are on the Rise

Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Hawaii community. They have truly gained popularity in the last few years, and for good reason. They're a great way for farmers to know they will have a market for their crops, but they are a great way for the consumer to get high-quality products without breaking the bank, too.

Usually, the crops are organic, so health-conscious HI individuals can be sure they are eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide variety of options, including;

  • Veggies
  • Fruits
  • Flowers
  • Meats
  • Cheeses

You don't have to live right next to an agricultural area, either, often farmers will spread their produce around in many different cities to ensure all their crops are spoken for.

If you don't have a CSA program in your community, talk to a local community service organization about starting one. Some are managed by local food co-ops or service organizations, while farmers often organize their own CSAs, too. If you know a farmer, determine whether they're offering a CSA program, and if they're not, give them a hint! These programs benefit just about everyone involved, and they are easy to start and maintain, so there is no reason why your community should do without one.

CSA Apprenticeship in Hawaii

Even if you think you cannot afford to belong to a Hawaii CSA, don't despair. Many farmers are providing apprenticeships for people who can't afford to purchase a membership for a season. You work in the fields for a pre-determined amount of time each week, and find out about the business of agriculture, and you receive a share of the crops in return. Now that's a win-win situation for everyone!

During a time when we worry about the quality of our food, how far it's traveled, and how long it's been sitting in a warehouse before it finally reached the supermarket, these novel programs can bring a little more peace of mind about where dinner's coming from and teach you new skills at the same time.

Even if you don't want to work in an apprenticeship, you can usually visit the farm and actually see where your next meal is coming from, and that's a very good feeling. So, help a farmer, feed your family better, and save money by joining a Hawaii CSA in your area.