What's a CSA?
A CSA, also known 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 Florence farmers who grow them together. The 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 Florence CSAs Work
Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Florence CSA subscribers. Instead of having to wade through the produce section every week farmers do the job 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 an idea which is increasing in popularity around the country since it keeps out the middleman, assures 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, based on where you live.
Benefits of CSAs in Florence, SC
What are the advantages of joining a Florence CSA program? Well, the produce does not have to be moved 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 that the produce is just about as fresh as you can get, since it is chosen, sorted and sent generally on the same day.
Often, it's cheaper than buying produce through] supermarkets in Florence, because it gets rid of the middleman and links the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Florence 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.
Florence CSA Programs Are on the Rise
Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Florence community. They've truly gained popularity in the last few years, and for good reason. They're a great way for farmers to know they are 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 Florence consumers can be sure they're eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide selection of options, including;
You do not have to live right next to an agricultural area, either, often farmers will spread their produce around in a number of 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 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, and they are easy to start and maintain, so there's no reason why your community should do without one.
CSA Apprenticeship in Florence
Even if you think you can not afford to belong to Florence 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 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 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 is a very good feeling. So, help a farmer, feed your family better, and save money by joining Florence CSA in your area.