Find a Local CSA in Louisiana

Louisiana 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 just about all of us), and the Louisiana farmers who grow them together. The 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 Louisiana CSAs Work

Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Louisiana CSA subscribers. Instead of needing to wade through the produce section each 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 really is a concept that's catching on across the country given it cuts out the middleman, guarantees farm-fresh produce at reasonable prices, and is good for the environment because it minimizes transportation costs, as well. CSA subscriptions generally run from early May through September or October, based on where you live.
 

Benefits of CSAs in Louisiana

What are the advantages of joining a Louisiana CSA program? Well, the produce doesn't need to be transported to a warehouse or group of supermarkets, it's only transported once, to the pick-up location, so subscribers are helping save on fuel costs and spare the environment from emissions. One significant advantage is that the produce is just about as fresh as you can get, since it is chosen, sorted and delivered typically on the same day.

Often, it's less costly than buying produce through a LA supermarket, because it does away with the middleman and links the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Louisiana CSAs help the local economy, too, simply because they keep the revenue right in the area, instead of sending it to other countries or other states where produce may originate.

Louisiana CSA Programs Are on the Rise

Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Louisiana 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 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.

Generally, the crops are organic, so health-conscious LA customers can be certain they are eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide selection of options, including;

  • Veggies
  • Fruits
  • Flowers
  • Meats
  • Cheeses

You don't need to live right next to an agricultural area, either, often farmers will spread their produce around in several different 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 handled by local food co-ops or service organizations, while farmers often arrange 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 simple to start and maintain, so there isn't any reason why your community should do without one.

CSA Apprenticeship in Louisiana

Even if you feel you can not afford to belong to a Louisiana CSA, don't despair. Many farmers are offering apprenticeships for those who can't afford to buy a membership for a season. You work in the fields for a pre-determined period 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!

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 is an excellent feeling. So, help a farmer, feed your family better, and save money by joining a Louisiana CSA in your area.