Find a Local CSA in Mississippi

Mississippi CSA - Community Supported Agriculture Guide

What's a CSA?

A CSA, also known as a Community Supported Agriculture Program, is a program with the goal to put people who use farm-grown products, (which is just about all of us), and the Mississippi farmers who grow them together. This system 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 Mississippi CSAs Work

Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Mississippi CSA subscribers. Rather than needing to wade through the produce section weekly farmers do the work 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 an idea that's catching on around the country because it keeps out the middleman, assures farm-fresh produce at affordable 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, depending on where you live.
 

Benefits of CSAs in Mississippi

What are the benefits of joining a Mississippi CSA program? Well, the produce doesn't need to be transferred 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 the produce is just about as fresh as you can get, since it is selected, sorted and sent typically on the same day.

Often, it's less expensive than buying produce through a MS supermarket, because it eliminates the middleman and links the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Mississippi CSAs profit the local economy, too, simply because they maintain the revenue right in the area, instead of sending it to other countries or other states where produce may originate.

Mississippi CSA Programs Are on the Rise

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

Usually, the crops are organic, so health-conscious MS customers know they're eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide array of options, including;

  • Veggies
  • Fruits
  • Flowers
  • Meats
  • Cheeses

You do not have to live right next to an agricultural area, either, often farmers will spread their produce around in many different cities to be sure 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 arrange 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 everyone involved, and they're simple to start and maintain, so there is no reason why your community should do without one.

CSA Apprenticeship in Mississippi

Even if you feel you can't afford to belong to a Mississippi CSA, don't despair. Many farmers are offering apprenticeships for people who can't afford to buy a membership for a season. You're employed in the fields for a pre-determined amount of time each week, and find out 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!

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