Oklahoma 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's most of us), and the Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma CSAs Work
Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Oklahoma CSA subscribers. As opposed to having to wade through the produce section weekly farmers do the work 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's a concept which is getting more popular around the country because it keeps out the middleman, ensures farm-fresh produce at reasonable prices, and is good for the environment because it decreases transportation costs, as well. CSA subscriptions usually run from early May through September or October, depending on where you live.
Benefits of CSAs in Oklahoma
What are the benefits of joining a Oklahoma CSA program? Well, the produce does not have to be moved to a warehouse or group of supermarkets, it's only transferred 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, because it is chosen, sorted and delivered typically on the same day.
Often, it's less costly than buying produce through a OK supermarket, because it does away with the middleman and links the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Oklahoma CSAs benefit 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.
Oklahoma CSA Programs Are on the Rise
Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Oklahoma community. They've 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 having to break the bank, too.
Primarily, the crops are organic, so health-conscious OK consumers can be sure they are eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide selection of options, including;
You do not have to live right next to an agricultural area, either, often farmers will spread their produce around in a number of 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 maintained by local food co-ops or service organizations, while farmers often arrange their own CSAs, too. If you know a farmer, find out if 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 isn't any reason why your community should do without one.
CSA Apprenticeship in Oklahoma
Even if you think you can not afford to belong to a Oklahoma CSA, don't despair. Many farmers are providing apprenticeships for those who can not afford to purchase a membership for a season. You're employed in the fields for a pre-determined period 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!
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 a very good feeling. So, help a farmer, feed your family better, and save money by joining a Oklahoma CSA in your area.