Live

What Is a CSA and 5 Reasons To Get One

May 12, 2017

 

Curious to see what came in this week’s CSA? Check out my latest video here!


One of the best parts about moving to California was having access to fresh, local produce year-round. Of course, I know this is an incredible privilege and having spent 27 winters on the East Coast, it’s certainly not something I take for granted.

But here’s the thing, even if you live in a place that experiences some pretty brutal winters, there is always a way for you to support your local agricultural producers and farmers. When there’s a will, there’s a way!

In Toronto, we’d shop at Farmer’s Markets from April to October or get a CSA delivered when we weren’t deep in the travel grind. And now that we’re here in San Francisco, we’re able to expand this support year round. And guess what? So can you!

I get this question a lot so I thought I’d address it in a video + post. So today I’m answering the question what is a CSA and chatting about 5 reasons why I think you should consider getting one. I also wanted to show you an example of what comes in my box that gets delivered every Tuesday so watch the video above to see what’s included!

Today on THM we're answering the question, what is a CSA and giving 5 reasons why you might consider getting one. Beyond saving you money, CSA's are one of the best ways to help you support local agricultural produces and eat your fruits and veggies!

WHAT IS A CSA?

“CSA” stands for “community supported agriculture” though this definition is quite broad. There are many ways to support community agriculture i.e. shopping at farmer’s markets, local markets or directly with nearby farmers. But because we all lead busy lives and have become accustomed to our food being delivered or shopped for us, a “CSA” has become synonymous with a once-a-week or biweekly box full of local fruits and veggies that are in season delivered to your door.

Each CSA looks a little bit different. Some don’t deliver right to your door but you have to pick them up. Others feed 2 people, while some are built to feed a full family. Some pick all of the fruits and veggies for you, while others allow you to pick and choose options. It entirely depends on where you’re ordering from. What should be consistent is that your box is full of produce from local farmers, though everyone has a different definition of what “local” means.

In my case, we decided to order from Farm Fresh to You because it supports local, California producers, is seasonal but also allows some degree of choice. I wanted to use the CSA as an opportunity to try out fruits and veggies I wouldn’t normally pick myself, but given my job, I do need some degree of flexibility for weeks where I’m recipe testing or am just craving some of my favorites. We’ve been using it since February (3.5 months) and have absolutely loved it!

5 REASONS TO GET A CSA

So now that you know what I CSA is, I thought I’d give you 5 reasons why you might want to consider getting one.

1. You’re supporting your local community – it’s no secret that many of our local agricultural producers are being pushed out by larger scale, commercial farmers. The best way to show your support is to put your money where your mouth is…literally.

2. It encourages more fruit and vegetable consumption – you kind of have no excuse to not eat your veggies when they’re showing up on your doorstep each week. We love fruits and veggies around here, but if they’re not in the house we’re less likely to eat them. No more excuses now!

3. You get to experiment with different types of produce – I can totally get stuck in a produce rut and eat the same things over and over. Having someone pick things for you (or at least the option of having them pick for you) encourages you to try things you normally wouldn’t. Without our CSA I would never have discovered how much I love watermelon radishes or green garlic!

4. You’re eating in season – Our bodies aren’t supposed to eat the same things year round. There’s a reason we eat strawberries in the summer and warming squash in the winter. CSA’s are only able to sell, what they’re able to grow so what you get will be the freshest of what’s in season.

5. It saves you money – I’ve done the math, and we save about $10 each week by getting our fruits and veggies through our CSA. That’s about $40 a month or just under $500 a year. Buying directly from farmers cuts out the middleman and transportation costs helping you save money. It also ensures less food waste because they send you enough for how many you order for. We get just enough for two people and we polish them all off each week.

Today on THM we're answering the question, what is a CSA and giving 5 reasons why you might consider getting one. Beyond saving you money, CSA's are one of the best ways to help you support local agricultural produces and eat your fruits and veggies!

If you’re interested in getting a CSA, start by googling CSAs and your area. Ask around to your friends and on social media for recommendations. I actually asked you guys when we moved to SF and so many of you recommended Farm Fresh To You so thank you so much! Definitely let me know if you end up signing up for one and encourage your friends to do the same!

Did you know what a CSA was? Are you signed up for one?

WANT MORE HEALTHY LIVING TIPS? Join the THM Community!

Join 5000+ members of the THM Community to get access to exclusive info about healthy living, products I'm loving and tips and tricks on making a healthy lifestyle easier and sustainable.

Powered by ConvertKit
  • Reply
    Juliette | Namastay Traveling
    May 12, 2017 at 6:18 am

    I’ve always wondered about CSA deliveries where I live in DC and if they were worth it. Thanks of clearing it up, going to look into it now!

  • Reply
    dixya @food, pleasure, and health
    May 12, 2017 at 10:21 am

    i have been meaning to look for one in my area..this is a good reminder for me to do major research.
    dixya @food, pleasure, and health recently posted…Instant Pot Sambar

  • Reply
    Caitlin
    May 12, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Great post! I usually do the farmers market instead of a CSA. I travel a lot in the summer, and I don’t want to be wasteful. But I like your idea of trying new fruits and veggies at the farmers market!
    Caitlin recently posted…Triathlon Training weeks 5 and 6

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      May 23, 2017 at 5:54 pm

      Yes, it can be a bit of a pain if you travel! I generally cancel mine if I know I’m travelling but some CSAs don’t allow you to do that. Farmer’s Market are the perfect alternative though!

  • Reply
    Janalou
    May 12, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    Great article! I’m really excited this week as I finally succeeded in getting a season membership to our local Field to Fork CSA! They only have about 150 full season memberships so timing is everything, mine has always been just a tad too late in the past so I’m thrilled. We chose a “2 adults” from a variety of sizes and can hardly wait until our first pickup. One nice thing about our little local program is you can choose to volunteer some labor, skilled or not, and get to help produce all that yummyness. I spend a lot of money at Farmer’s markets all season anyway so CSA is a win win.

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      May 23, 2017 at 5:53 pm

      yes! I always tell people if they love farmer’s markets, they’ll love a CSA! Congrats on getting in and can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  • Reply
    Kimmies
    May 12, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    Never heard of a CSA prior to your post and I for me am thrilled that you took the time to do a video blog on it. Now I too need to find out if western Idaho had one that I could join.

    Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms out there and happy, healthy eating too.

  • Reply
    DNN
    May 28, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Just out of curiosity alongside CSA, you have ever had fresh pressed fruits and vegetable juice or drank something like cucumber juice with lemon or honey with lemon juice plus Apple cider vinegar with the Mother before going to bed and noticing any type of belly fat possibly disappearing overnight? I ask because I keep seeing all types of different advertisements and links to stories discussing how fresh pressed fruits and vegetables out of juicing machine or warm water with honey, lemon juice, and Bragg Apple cider vinegar with the mother can possibly help you sleep better at night and reduce belly fat. If you didn’t use such a combination to reduce stomach flab, how long did it take you by chance until you started seeing visible results? Thanks so much in advance for your response. 🙂

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

Join 5000+ members of the THM Community to stay up to date on the latest life happenings and behind-the-scenes of The Healthy Maven!

FOLLOW THE HEALTHY MAVEN ON INSTAGRAM!