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 almost all of us), and the Fairport 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 Fairport CSAs Work
Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Fairport CSA subscribers. As opposed to 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 a concept which is catching on around the country since it keeps out the middleman, assures farm-fresh produce at reasonable 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, depending on where you reside.
Benefits of CSAs in Fairport, NY
What are the advantages of joining a Fairport CSA program? Well, the produce does not have to be moved 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 picked, sorted and delivered usually on the same day.
Often, it's cheaper than buying produce through] supermarkets in Fairport, because it does away with the middleman and links the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Fairport CSAs profit the local economy, too, because they maintain the revenue right in the area, instead of sending it to other countries or other states where produce may originate.
Fairport CSA Programs Are on the Rise
Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Fairport community. They have definitely taken off 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're a great way for the consumer to get high-quality products without breaking the bank, too.
Generally, the crops are organic, so health-conscious Fairport individuals know they're eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide selection of options, including;
You do not need 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 handled 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 just about everybody involved, and they're simple to start and maintain, so there's no reason why your community should do without one.
CSA Apprenticeship in Fairport
Even if you feel you can't afford to belong to Fairport CSAs, don't despair. Many farmers are offering apprenticeships for those who can't afford to buy a membership for a season. You work in the fields for a pre-determined period 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's an excellent feeling. So, help a farmer, feed your family better, and save money by joining Fairport CSA in your area.