Find a Local CSA in Maine

Home » Csas » Maine

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
K
L
M
N
O
P
R
S
T
V
W
Y

Maine 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 Maine 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 Maine CSAs Work

Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Maine CSA subscribers. As opposed to needing to wade through the produce section each 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 getting more popular around the country given it cuts out the middleman, assures farm-fresh produce at cheap prices, and is good for the environment because it cuts down transportation costs, as well. CSA subscriptions usually run from early May through September or October, dependent on where you live.
 

Benefits of CSAs in Maine

What are the benefits of joining a Maine CSA program? Well, the produce does not have to be transferred 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, because it's chosen, sorted and sent usually on the same day.

Often, it's cheaper than buying produce through a ME supermarket, because it gets rid of the middleman and links the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Maine CSAs profit 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.

Maine CSA Programs Are on the Rise

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

Primarily, the crops are organic, so health-conscious ME customers can be certain they're eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide array 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 distinct 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's no reason why your community should do without one.

CSA Apprenticeship in Maine

Even if you feel you can not afford to belong to a Maine CSA, don't despair. Many farmers are offering apprenticeships for many who can't afford to buy 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 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 is an excellent feeling. So, help a farmer, feed your family better, and save money by joining a Maine CSA in your area.