Last Saturday was CSA day at Seacoast Eat Local’s Exeter Winter Farmers Market. If you were in a saddened state because you missed this great event, I have some good news: a second CSA day will take place on February 22 at the Wentworth Greenhouses Farmers Market in Rollinsford. Click here for a list of the farms that you might see at CSA day.
What is a CSA, you might ask? CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and is an opportunity for a farm and its customer to form a direct relationship. CSA members make a commitment to a farm by purchasing a “share” of the harvest in advance of the growing season. This commitment provides farmers with the capital they need early in the year to buy seeds and supplies. In return, members receive a weekly “share” of the farm’s harvest: fresh, in-season, high quality food grown and harvested on the farm. Depending on the farm and CSA you choose, this food could include vegetables, fruit, eggs, meat, dairy products, grains, or more.
Not only is a CSA a great way to secure fresh, local food for your family; it can be a wonderful opportunity to learn about local farms, introduce your family to the benefits of supporting local businesses, maintain good health, and get creative in your kitchen. In some cases, joining a CSA can even offer the opportunity to get your hands dirty on the farm. Is there a better way to educate our youth about food and health?
There are many local farms offering different types of CSA shares. For a searchable list of CSA farms in the NH seacoast area, visit www.seacoastharvest.org. For a nationwide directory, visit www.localharvest.org.