Find a Local CSA in Nebraska

Nebraska 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, (and that is most of us), and the Nebraska farmers who grow them together. This system works on a subscription basis. Subscribers can purchase a subscription to the produce service for either a growing season or for the whole year.

How Nebraska CSAs Work

Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Nebraska 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's an idea that's catching on throughout the country given it keeps out the middleman, guarantees farm-fresh produce at cheap prices, and is good for the environment because it cuts down transportation costs, as well. CSA subscriptions primarily run from early May through September or October, depending on where you live.
 

Benefits of CSAs in Nebraska

What are the advantages of joining a Nebraska CSA program? Well, the produce doesn't need 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 the produce is just about as fresh as possible, since it is picked, sorted and sent usually on the same day.

Often, it's less costly than buying produce through a NE supermarket, because it gets rid of the middleman and links the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Nebraska CSAs benefit the local economy, too, since they maintain the revenue right in the area, instead of sending it to other countries or other states where produce may originate.

Nebraska CSA Programs Are on the Rise

Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Nebraska community. They've definitely taken off 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 NE consumers can be certain they're eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide selection of options, including;

  • Veggies
  • Fruits
  • Flowers
  • Meats
  • Cheeses

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

CSA Apprenticeship in Nebraska

Even if you feel you can't afford to belong to a Nebraska CSA, don't despair. Many farmers are providing apprenticeships for those 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 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!

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 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 Nebraska CSA in your area.