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, (which is almost all of us), and the Maple Valley 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 Maple Valley CSAs Work
Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Maple Valley CSA subscribers. As opposed to needing to wade through the produce section each 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 really is an idea that's increasing in popularity around the country given it cuts out the middleman, guarantees farm-fresh produce at reasonable 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, dependent on where you reside.
Benefits of CSAs in Maple Valley, WA
What are the advantages of joining a Maple Valley CSA program? Well, the produce does not have 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, because it is picked, sorted and delivered usually on the same day.
Often, it's less expensive than buying produce through] supermarkets in Maple Valley, because it does away with the middleman and links the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Maple Valley CSAs profit the local economy, too, because they keep your revenue right in the area, instead of sending it to other countries or other states where produce may originate.
Maple Valley CSA Programs Are on the Rise
Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Maple Valley community. They have really gained popularity 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 are 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 Maple Valley individuals can be sure they are eating right, and community supported agriculture programs offer a wide selection of options, including;
You do not need to live right next to an agricultural area, either, often farmers will spread their produce around in many distinct 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 maintained 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 almost everybody involved, and they are easy to start and maintain, so there's no reason why your community should do without one.
CSA Apprenticeship in Maple Valley
Even if you think you cannot afford to belong to Maple Valley CSAs, don't despair. Many farmers are offering apprenticeships for many who can't afford to purchase a membership for a season. You're working in the fields for a pre-determined period 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 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 Maple Valley CSA in your area.