Find a Local CSA in Kansas

Kansas CSA - Community Supported Agriculture Guide

What's a CSA?

A CSA, also referred to as a Community Supported Agriculture Program, is a program with the goal to put people who use farm-grown products, (which is almost all of us), and the Kansas 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 Kansas CSAs Work

Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Kansas CSA subscribers. Rather than having to wade through the produce section every week farmers do the job for them. Local farmers come up with 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 really is an idea which is catching on across the country since it cuts out the middleman, assures farm-fresh produce at reasonable prices, and is good for the environment because it minimizes transportation costs, as well. CSA subscriptions primarily run from early May through September or October, depending on where you live.
 

Benefits of CSAs in Kansas

What are the advantages of joining a Kansas CSA program? Well, the produce doesn't have to be transported to a warehouse or group of supermarkets, it's only transferred 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, because it is selected, sorted and shipped typically on the same day.

Often, it's cheaper than buying produce through a KS supermarket, because it does away with the middleman and connects the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Kansas CSAs benefit the local economy, too, since they keep the revenue right in the area, instead of sending it to other countries or other states where produce may originate.

Kansas CSA Programs Are on the Rise

Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Kansas community. They've truly gained popularity in the last few years, and for good reason. They're a great way for farmers to know they are going to have a market for their crops, but they're a great way for the consumer to get high-quality products having to break the bank, too.

Usually, the crops are organic, so health-conscious KS individuals know 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 diverse cities to ensure all their crops are spoken for.

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

CSA Apprenticeship in Kansas

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

At 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 arrived at 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 Kansas CSA in your area.