Find a Local CSA in North Dakota

North Dakota 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, (which is most of us), and the North Dakota 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 North Dakota CSAs Work

Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for North Dakota CSA subscribers. As opposed to having to wade through the produce section each week 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 is a concept that is catching on throughout the country given it keeps out the middleman, guarantees farm-fresh produce at affordable 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 North Dakota

What are the benefits of joining a North Dakota CSA program? Well, the produce doesn't need to be moved 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 significant advantage is that the produce is just about as fresh as possible, because it's picked, sorted and delivered usually on the same day.

Often, it's less costly than buying produce through a ND supermarket, because it does away with the middleman and connects the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. North Dakota CSAs help 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.

North Dakota CSA Programs Are on the Rise

Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your North Dakota community. They've really 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.

Primarily, the crops are organic, so health-conscious ND consumers know 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 a number of diverse 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 maintained 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 almost everybody involved, and they are simple to start and maintain, so there's no reason why your community should do without one.

CSA Apprenticeship in North Dakota

Even if you feel you can't afford to belong to a North Dakota CSA, don't despair. Many farmers are providing apprenticeships for people 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 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 an excellent feeling. So, help a farmer, feed your family better, and save money by joining a North Dakota CSA in your area.