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 most of us), and the Fayetteville farmers who grow them together. This program 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 Fayetteville CSAs Work
Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Fayetteville CSA subscribers. Instead of 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 really is a concept that's catching on around the country given it keeps out the middleman, ensures farm-fresh produce at affordable prices, and is good for the environment because it minimizes transportation costs, as well. CSA subscriptions generally run from early May through September or October, depending on where you reside.
Benefits of CSAs in Fayetteville, NC
What are the benefits of joining a Fayetteville CSA program? Well, the produce doesn't need 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 you can get, because it's chosen, sorted and shipped generally on the same day.
Often, it's cheaper than buying produce through] supermarkets in Fayetteville, because it does away with the middleman and joins the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Fayetteville CSAs benefit 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.
Fayetteville CSA Programs Are on the Rise
Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Fayetteville community. They have 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.
Generally, the crops are organic, so health-conscious Fayetteville customers know they are eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide variety of options, including;
You do not have to live right next to an agricultural area, either, often farmers will spread their produce around in many distinct 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 maintained by local food co-ops or service organizations, while farmers often manage 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's no reason why your community should do without one.
CSA Apprenticeship in Fayetteville
Even if you think you can't afford to belong to Fayetteville CSAs, don't despair. Many farmers are offering apprenticeships for people who can't afford to buy a membership for a season. You're working 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's a very good feeling. So, help a farmer, feed your family better, and save money by joining Fayetteville CSA in your area.