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 Detroit 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 Detroit CSAs Work
Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Detroit CSA subscribers. Instead of having to wade through the produce section each week farmers do the work 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 an idea which is increasing in popularity throughout the country because it keeps 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, dependent on where you reside.
Benefits of CSAs in Detroit, MI
What are the benefits of joining a Detroit CSA program? Well, the produce does not have to be moved 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 possible, because it is selected, sorted and delivered usually on the same day.
Often, it's less costly than buying produce through] supermarkets in Detroit, because it does away with the middleman and joins the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Detroit CSAs help the local economy, too, simply because they keep your revenue right in the area, instead of sending it to other countries or other states where produce may originate.
Detroit CSA Programs Are on the Rise
Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Detroit community. They've really gained popularity 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 are a great way for the consumer to get high-quality products without breaking the bank, too.
Primarily, the crops are organic, so health-conscious Detroit customers can be sure they are eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide array of options, including;
You don't need to live right next to an agricultural area, either, often farmers will spread their produce around in several distinct cities to ensure 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 manage 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 almost everybody involved, and they're simple to start and maintain, so there is no reason why your community should do without one.
CSA Apprenticeship in Detroit
Even if you think you can not afford to belong to Detroit CSAs, 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 period of time each week, and learn 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 an excellent feeling. So, help a farmer, feed your family better, and save money by joining Detroit CSA in your area.