Find a Local CSA in Pennsylvania

Home » Csas » Pennsylvania

A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
R
S
U
W
Y

Pennsylvania 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 just about all of us), and the Pennsylvania farmers who grow them together. This system works on a subscription basis. Subscribers can get a subscription to the produce service for either a growing season or for the whole year.

How Pennsylvania CSAs Work

Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Pennsylvania CSA subscribers. Instead of needing to wade through the produce section weekly 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 really is a concept which is catching on around the country since it cuts out the middleman, assures farm-fresh produce at cheap prices, and is good for the environment because it decreases transportation costs, as well. CSA subscriptions primarily run from early May through September or October, based on where you live.
 

Benefits of CSAs in Pennsylvania

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

Often, it's less expensive than buying produce through a PA supermarket, because it does away with the middleman and connects the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Pennsylvania CSAs benefit the local economy, too, because they maintain the revenue right in the area, instead of sending it to other countries or other states where produce may originate.

Pennsylvania CSA Programs Are on the Rise

Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Pennsylvania 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.

Usually, the crops are organic, so health-conscious PA consumers know they are eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide selection 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 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 organize 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 easy to start and maintain, so there's no reason why your community should do without one.

CSA Apprenticeship in Pennsylvania

Even if you think you can not afford to belong to a Pennsylvania CSA, don't despair. Many farmers are offering apprenticeships for many who can't afford to buy a membership for a season. You're employed in the fields for a pre-determined period of time each week, and find out 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 Pennsylvania CSA in your area.