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 almost all of us), and the Fort Worth 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 Fort Worth CSAs Work
Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Fort Worth CSA subscribers. Instead of 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 is a concept which is catching on throughout the country given it keeps out the middleman, guarantees farm-fresh produce at cheap prices, and is good for the environment because it minimizes transportation costs, as well. CSA subscriptions primarily run from early May through September or October, dependent on where you live.
Benefits of CSAs in Fort Worth, TX
What are the benefits of joining a Fort Worth CSA program? Well, the produce doesn't need to be transported 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 significant advantage is that the produce is just about as fresh as possible, since it is selected, sorted and shipped typically on the same day.
Often, it's less costly than buying produce through] supermarkets in Fort Worth, because it eliminates the middleman and links the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Fort Worth 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.
Fort Worth CSA Programs Are on the Rise
Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Fort Worth 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 are a great way for the consumer to get high-quality products without breaking the bank, too.
Usually, the crops are organic, so health-conscious Fort Worth customers know they are eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide selection of options, including;
You don't need to live right next to an agricultural area, either, often farmers will spread their produce around in a number of different cities to ensure 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 managed 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 easy to start and maintain, so there isn't any reason why your community should do without one.
CSA Apprenticeship in Fort Worth
Even if you feel you can't afford to belong to Fort Worth CSAs, don't despair. Many farmers are offering apprenticeships for those who can not afford to buy a membership for a season. You're employed 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!
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 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's a very good feeling. So, help a farmer, feed your family better, and save money by joining Fort Worth CSA in your area.