Find a Local CSA in Texas

Texas 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 just about all of us), and the Texas 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 Texas CSAs Work

Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Texas CSA subscribers. Rather than having to wade through the produce section every 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's a concept which is increasing in popularity around the country since it keeps out the middleman, guarantees farm-fresh produce at cheap prices, and is good for the environment because it minimizes transportation costs, as well. CSA subscriptions primarily run from early May through September or October, based on where you live.
 

Benefits of CSAs in Texas

What are the advantages of joining a Texas CSA program? Well, the produce does not have to be transferred to a warehouse or group of supermarkets, it's only transported 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, because it is selected, sorted and sent generally on the same day.

Often, it's less costly than buying produce through a TX supermarket, because it gets rid of the middleman and links the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Texas CSAs help 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.

Texas CSA Programs Are on the Rise

Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Texas community. They've truly gained popularity 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 are 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 TX consumers can be sure they're eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide selection of options, including;

  • Veggies
  • Fruits
  • Flowers
  • Meats
  • Cheeses

You don't have to live right next to an agricultural area, either, often farmers will spread their produce around in several distinct cities to be 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 managed by local food co-ops or service organizations, while farmers often arrange their own CSAs, too. If you know a farmer, determine if they're offering a CSA program, and if they're not, give them a hint! These programs benefit just about 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 Texas

Even if you think you can not afford to belong to a Texas CSA, don't despair. Many farmers are offering apprenticeships for many who can not afford to purchase a membership for a season. You're working in the fields for a pre-determined amount 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!

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 reached 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 an excellent feeling. So, help a farmer, feed your family better, and save money by joining a Texas CSA in your area.