For cancer prevention we should try to eat at least 5 cups of fruit and vegetables each day. That’s five cups combined, not five cups of fruit and five cups of vegetables. Click here to find out what one cup looks like.
Many patients I have worked with have told me they have difficulty meeting their fruit and veggie quota.
One way to make this recommendation easy to follow is to have a fresh supply of fruits and veggies at your finger tips. You may be thinking, “how do I do that, I am not a gardener”, or “my local grocery store doesn’t carry good produce”. CSA can help make this happen.
What is CSA?
A great way to get easy access to fresh fruits and veggies is through CSA, which is short for: Community Supported Agriculture. CSA is a system that allows consumers to buy local, seasonal produce directly from a farmer. Farmers will offer “shares” to the public. If you purchase a share, you will get a fresh box of produce delivered to you on a regular basis during the growing season and in turn support a local farm. Everybody wins!
How Do you Join a CSA Farm?
It is easy to join a CSA, as long as a farm still has shares available. Once you pick which farm you want to join, you pay a fee for your share upfront. When the growing season starts, you will begin to receive your boxes on a weekly basis. Boxes are usually delivered to different sites in your area and you go and pick it up.
The contents of the box vary depending on the farm. You don’t have control over what’s in your box, but it is usually a great variety. You will get to discover vegetables and fruit you didn’t even know existed!
My Experience with CSA
My husband and I have belonged to a CSA for 3 years now and I can say it’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made! It has made getting fresh, local, organic produce incredibly easy to get! Not all CSA’s are organic, but I am sure many of them are. You just need to make sure you read about the farm before you subscribe.
I get sad when the CSA season ends because getting local, organic produce becomes impossible and I have to choose between the two concepts which always leaves me frustrated.
By now you are probably wondering about cost. I have not calculated the cost of other farms but ours ends up being about 30-35$ per box, which I think is a great deal, especially for the quality of food we receive.
Benefits of CSA in a nutshell:
- Easy access to fresh, local produce
- Exposure to new fruits and vegetables
- Consistent delivery
- Easy to join
For more information about CSA and to find CSA near you, visit LocalHarvest. If you are interested, it is a perfect time to sign up.
In case you were wondering, we subscribe to Angelic Organics. They still have some 2011 shares left if you are interested and live in the Chicagoland area.
Do you belong to CSA? If yes, tell me what you like about it.
Photo by: Itzafineday