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 Milwaukee farmers who grow them together. This program 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 Milwaukee CSAs Work
Grocery shopping is a whole lot easier for Milwaukee CSA subscribers. Rather than having to wade through the produce section each 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 is a concept that is increasing in popularity across the country because it keeps out the middleman, assures 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, depending on where you reside.
Benefits of CSAs in Milwaukee, WI
What are the benefits of joining a Milwaukee 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 benefit is that the produce is just about as fresh as you can get, because it's selected, sorted and sent generally on the same day.
Often, it's less expensive than buying produce through] supermarkets in Milwaukee, because it eliminates the middleman and joins the consumer and the local farmer without any markup on profit. Milwaukee CSAs help the local economy, too, since they maintain the revenue right in the area, instead of sending it to other countries or other states where produce may originate.
Milwaukee CSA Programs Are on the Rise
Just a few short years ago, a CSA program probably didn't exist in your Milwaukee community. They've really taken off in the last few years, and for good reason. They are 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.
Usually, the crops are organic, so health-conscious Milwaukee customers can be sure 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 diverse cities to be 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 whether they're offering a CSA program, and if they're not, give them a hint! These programs benefit almost everybody involved, and they're simple to start and maintain, so there's no reason why your community should do without one.
CSA Apprenticeship in Milwaukee
Even if you think you can not afford to belong to Milwaukee CSAs, don't despair. Many farmers are offering apprenticeships for people who can't afford to purchase a membership for a season. You work 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!
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 an excellent feeling. So, help a farmer, feed your family better, and save money by joining Milwaukee CSA in your area.