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 is just about all of us), and the Panama City 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 Panama City CSAs Work
Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Panama City CSA subscribers. Instead of needing to wade through the produce section weekly 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 is a concept which is increasing in popularity around the country since it cuts out the middleman, assures farm-fresh produce at affordable 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, depending on where you live.
Benefits of CSAs in Panama City, FL
What are the benefits of joining a Panama City CSA program? Well, the produce does not have to be transferred 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 the produce is just about as fresh as possible, because it's selected, sorted and delivered usually on the same day.
Often, it's less costly than buying produce through] supermarkets in Panama City, because it gets rid of the middleman and links the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Panama City CSAs help the local economy, too, because they keep the revenue right in the area, instead of sending it to other countries or other states where produce may originate.
Panama City CSA Programs Are on the Rise
Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Panama City 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 are going to have a market for their crops, but they are a great way for the consumer to get high-quality products without breaking the bank, too.
Generally, the crops are organic, so health-conscious Panama City individuals can be certain 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 several distinct cities to be 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 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 just about everyone involved, plus they are simple to start and maintain, so there's no reason why your community should do without one.
CSA Apprenticeship in Panama City
Even if you feel you cannot afford to belong to Panama City CSAs, don't despair. Many farmers are providing apprenticeships for people who can not afford to buy a membership for a season. You're working in the fields for a pre-determined amount 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!
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 a very good feeling. So, help a farmer, feed your family better, and save money by joining Panama City CSA in your area.