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Laurel Park CSA - Community Supported Agriculture Guide



What's a CSA?

A CSA, sometimes called 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 Laurel Park farmers who grow them together. This system 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 Laurel Park CSAs Work

Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Laurel Park 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 a concept that is getting more popular throughout the country since it cuts out the middleman, guarantees farm-fresh produce at cheap prices, and is good for the environment because it decreases transportation costs, as well. CSA subscriptions generally run from early May through September or October, depending on where you reside.
 

Benefits of CSAs in Laurel Park, NC

What are the advantages of joining a Laurel Park CSA program? Well, the produce doesn't need to be transferred 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 you can get, since it is picked, sorted and delivered generally on the same day.

Often, it's cheaper than buying produce through] supermarkets in Laurel Park, because it eliminates the middleman and connects the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Laurel Park CSAs benefit the local economy, too, simply because they keep the revenue right in the area, instead of sending it to other countries or other states where produce may originate.

Laurel Park CSA Programs Are on the Rise

Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Laurel Park 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're going to have a market for their crops, but they're 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 Laurel Park consumers know they're eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide variety of options, including;

  • Veggies
  • Fruits
  • Flowers
  • Meats
  • Cheeses

You do not need to live right next to an agricultural area, either, often farmers will spread their produce around in several different 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 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 everyone involved, plus they are simple to start and maintain, so there's no reason why your community should do without one.

CSA Apprenticeship in Laurel Park

Even if you think you can't afford to belong to Laurel Park CSAs, don't despair. Many farmers are providing apprenticeships for many who can't afford to purchase a membership for a season. You're employed in the fields for a pre-determined amount 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 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 an excellent feeling. So, help a farmer, feed your family better, and save money by joining Laurel Park CSA in your area.