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 Rolla 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 Rolla CSAs Work
Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Rolla CSA subscribers. As opposed to having to wade through the produce section each week 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 really is an idea that's catching on around the country given it keeps out the middleman, assures farm-fresh produce at reasonable prices, and is good for the environment because it cuts down transportation costs, as well. CSA subscriptions generally run from early May through September or October, dependent on where you reside.
Benefits of CSAs in Rolla, MO
What are the advantages of joining a Rolla CSA program? Well, the produce does not have 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 significant advantage is that the produce is just about as fresh as you can get, because it's picked, sorted and delivered generally on the same day.
Often, it's cheaper than buying produce through] supermarkets in Rolla, because it does away with the middleman and joins the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Rolla 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.
Rolla CSA Programs Are on the Rise
Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Rolla community. They have really gained popularity in the last few years, and for good reason. They're 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.
Usually, the crops are organic, so health-conscious Rolla customers can be certain they are eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide variety of options, including;
You do not need to live right next to an agricultural area, either, often farmers will spread their produce around in many diverse 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 handled by local food co-ops or service organizations, while farmers often coordinate 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 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 Rolla
Even if you feel you cannot afford to belong to Rolla CSAs, don't despair. Many farmers are providing apprenticeships for many who can not afford to purchase a membership for a season. You work in the fields for a pre-determined amount 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!
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 an excellent feeling. So, help a farmer, feed your family better, and save money by joining Rolla CSA in your area.