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, (which is most of us), and the Worcester 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 Worcester CSAs Work
Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Worcester CSA subscribers. As opposed to having to wade through the produce section weekly farmers do the work 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 is an idea that is catching on throughout the country since it cuts out the middleman, assures farm-fresh produce at cheap prices, and is good for the environment because it cuts down transportation costs, as well. CSA subscriptions primarily run from early May through September or October, dependent on where you reside.
Benefits of CSAs in Worcester, MA
What are the advantages of joining a Worcester CSA program? Well, the produce does not have to be transported to a warehouse or group of supermarkets, it's only moved 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 selected, sorted and sent generally on the same day.
Often, it's less costly than buying produce through] supermarkets in Worcester, because it eliminates the middleman and links the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Worcester CSAs benefit the local economy, too, since they keep your revenue right in the area, instead of sending it to other countries or other states where produce may originate.
Worcester CSA Programs Are on the Rise
Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Worcester community. They've truly taken off in the last few years, and for good reason. They are a great way for farmers to know they're 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.
Primarily, the crops are organic, so health-conscious Worcester individuals can be certain they're eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide array of options, including;
You don't have to live right next to an agricultural area, either, often farmers will spread their produce around in several diverse 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 maintained by local food co-ops or service organizations, while farmers often coordinate 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're easy to start and maintain, so there is no reason why your community should do without one.
CSA Apprenticeship in Worcester
Even if you think you can not afford to belong to Worcester CSAs, don't despair. Many farmers are offering apprenticeships for many who can not afford to buy a membership for a season. You're working 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 Worcester CSA in your area.