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, (and that's most of us), and the York 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 York CSAs Work
Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for York CSA subscribers. As opposed to needing to wade through the produce section every 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 really is an idea that's getting more popular around the country given it cuts out the middleman, guarantees farm-fresh produce at affordable prices, and is good for the environment because it decreases transportation costs, as well. CSA subscriptions usually run from early May through September or October, dependent on where you live.
Benefits of CSAs in York, PA
What are the benefits of joining a York CSA program? Well, the produce does not have 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 selected, sorted and shipped usually on the same day.
Often, it's less costly than buying produce through] supermarkets in York, because it gets rid of the middleman and links the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. York CSAs benefit the local economy, too, since they keep the revenue right in the area, instead of sending it to other countries or other states where produce may originate.
York CSA Programs Are on the Rise
Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your York community. They have truly taken off in the last few years, and for good reason. They're 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.
Primarily, the crops are organic, so health-conscious York customers can be certain they're eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide array of options, including;
You don't have to live right next to an agricultural area, either, often farmers will spread their produce around in many different 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 organize 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, and they're easy to start and maintain, so there is no reason why your community should do without one.
CSA Apprenticeship in York
Even if you feel you can not afford to belong to York CSAs, don't despair. Many farmers are providing apprenticeships for many who can not afford to buy a membership for a season. You're working in the fields for a pre-determined amount 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!
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 York CSA in your area.