Find a Local CSA in South Dakota

South Dakota CSA - Community Supported Agriculture Guide

What's a CSA?

A CSA, also referred to 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 South Dakota farmers who grow them together. This program 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 South Dakota CSAs Work

Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for South Dakota CSA subscribers. Rather than needing to wade through the produce section each week farmers do the job 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 really is a concept that's catching on throughout the country given it keeps out the middleman, guarantees farm-fresh produce at reasonable 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, dependent on where you live.
 

Benefits of CSAs in South Dakota

What are the advantages of joining a South Dakota CSA program? Well, the produce doesn't need to be transported 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 key advantage is that the produce is just about as fresh as possible, because it's chosen, sorted and shipped usually on the same day.

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

South Dakota CSA Programs Are on the Rise

Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your South Dakota community. They've really 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're a great way for the consumer to get high-quality products without breaking the bank, too.

Generally, the crops are organic, so health-conscious SD individuals 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 need to live right next to an agricultural area, either, often farmers will spread their produce around in a number of distinct cities to make sure 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 handled 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, plus they are simple to start and maintain, so there is no reason why your community should do without one.

CSA Apprenticeship in South Dakota

Even if you think you can't afford to belong to a South Dakota CSA, don't despair. Many farmers are providing apprenticeships for many who can not 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's a very good feeling. So, help a farmer, feed your family better, and save money by joining a South Dakota CSA in your area.