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 almost all of us), and the Kent farmers who grow them together. This program works on a subscription basis. Subscribers can get a subscription to the produce service for either a growing season or for the whole year.
How Kent CSAs Work
Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Kent CSA subscribers. As opposed to needing to wade through the produce section weekly farmers do the job 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 getting more popular throughout the country since it cuts out the middleman, guarantees farm-fresh produce at affordable prices, and is good for the environment because it minimizes transportation costs, as well. CSA subscriptions usually run from early May through September or October, based on where you reside.
Benefits of CSAs in Kent, OH
What are the benefits of joining a Kent CSA program? Well, the produce doesn't need 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 key advantage is that the produce is just about as fresh as you can get, because it's chosen, sorted and delivered generally on the same day.
Often, it's less costly than buying produce through] supermarkets in Kent, because it does away with the middleman and joins the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Kent CSAs benefit the local economy, too, simply because they maintain the revenue right in the area, instead of sending it to other countries or other states where produce may originate.
Kent CSA Programs Are on the Rise
Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Kent community. They have really taken off 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.
Primarily, the crops are organic, so health-conscious Kent customers can be sure they're eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide array of options, including;
You do not need to live right next to an agricultural area, either, often farmers will spread their produce around in a number of diverse cities to make 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 manage their own CSAs, too. If you know a farmer, find out if they're offering a CSA program, and if they're not, give them a hint! These programs benefit just about everyone involved, and they are simple to start and maintain, so there is no reason why your community should do without one.
CSA Apprenticeship in Kent
Even if you feel you can not afford to belong to Kent CSAs, don't despair. Many farmers are providing apprenticeships for people 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 find out 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 Kent CSA in your area.