We recently joined the CSA Life Farms … an organic vegetable farm located in Clearwater, in the heart of Pinellas County, Florida.
What is a CSA?
COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE (CSA) allows consumers to collectively support a local farm by committing to purchasing their farm’s produce. CSA members pay at the onset of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest; once harvesting begins, they receive weekly shares of produce in a vegetable box.
Today, Community Supported Agriculture is somewhat of a household term in the Upper Midwest and in many other communities throughout the United States. However, this partnership between consumers and producers is a relatively recent development. The growth of the movement and its wide adoption are astounding and inspiring.
CSA was developed around the concept of knowing your farmer. The idea harks back to a time when people knew where their food came from, ate in harmony with their local seasons, and enjoyed a balanced, nutritional diet of basic, natural foods.
Life Farms provides nutrient dense food and education to their customers. They have over six acres of farmland where they grow the vegetables, herbs and micro greens organically without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Life Farms began in 2013 and the first CSA season was in the fall of 2013.
Support Local Farmers!
By joining, we enjoy an abundance of fresh, organic vegetables during the season. Other items your local farmers may supply include organic eggs, honey, poultry, and pasture-raised beef. Life Farms provides fresh herbs and, other than using them in cooking, I dry them for later use and have even rooted a few to start my own herb garden!
Supporting local growers is beneficial for many reasons aside from the obvious. It is good for the ecology and provides biodiversity among plants, flowers, insects, and animals that benefit from farming. Additionally, habitat management and re-saturation lead to a rich ecosystem on the farm. Sustainability and waste reduction are other great benefits as they have started shifting to biodegradable packaging.
Explore your area for a CSA farm. A secondary gain by becoming a part of a CSA is that you not only enjoy the fresh, farm-grown harvest, but you are also supporting the local farmers and the many markets and restaurants where they provide supplies.
To Healthy Eating!