Tuesday Tips- CSA Locally Produced Food

Last year after reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, a part of me was transformed. If you haven't read the book, a very basic synopsis is that Barbara picks up her family and moves across the country from Tuscon, Arizona to a piece of family property in Virginia, with the goal of subsisting off of food she grows or can only be produced locally for one year. Now trust me if you are familiar with Barbara Kingsolver you know the depth and beauty of her writing spills onto every page. Her journey, lured me in, and presented me with a new perspective on eating and of course consumerism.

Boulder is the home to a beautiful Organic Farmer's Market, every Wednesday and Saturday. At the Farmer's Market, relationships are born. After regular weekly visits, faces become familiar with a farm's name or particular type of produce. Best yet, money goes directly to the farmers, cutting out the need for trucking produce around town, middle men, and lost profits. Over the years, the Boulder Farmer's Market has offered countless opportunities to budding entrepreneurs mainly in the food industry. Take for example Sister's Pantry, their dumplings were made famous at the market, and now they are sold frozen in Whole Foods. And yes, I often imagine having a little baked goods stand at the Market because this market is the avenue to make small dreams come true.

Moving beyond the opportunities to support local farms at the Farmer's Market, there is something called a CSA or Community Supported Agriculture. With a CSA the intention is to support farmers, during off season. Every CSA is run a little bit differently, but basically you pay up front to the farm, for a share of vegetables, fruit, and flowers or a combination. A CSA I have been a member of in the past, we paid in two installments in January and March, then we were provided with 20 weeks of produce from May through October.

There is a wonderful resource called Local Harvest. On the Local Harvest webpage you can type in your zipcode or punch in your state and find a plethora of local farms to support directly!

I understand that it's truly a commitment to try to eat only locally produced foods, but every effort when it's available makes a wonderful impact on your local economy. It saves the environment from pollution and oil consumption because there is no trucking of produce across the globe. And to be quite honest, the produce tastes so much better. It's juicier, sweeter, and more vibrant, because it was picked when it was ripe maybe that morning or within the last few days.

I am amazed at the global nature of produce movement. Sorry hubby, but do we really need to eat apples from New Zealand in August? Aren't the locally grown peaches, apricots, cherries a wonderful substitution?

Take a closer look at where your produce is from. Check out Local Harvest and see if you can start investing in small family owned farm in your neck of the woods!

Just curious about how many of you belong to a CSA or visit a local farmer's market?



  1. i love the farmers markets and have always supported them especially in CA...I was appalled one day at whole foods and needed garlic and it was from mexico...and then started looking at other stuff like tomatoes and they were also not grown in this country...so I would much rather go to the farmers markets and p/u locally grown produce...and love the idea of the CSA...I will definately check into that;o)

  2. We are all about local produce. We have an abundance of farmers markets here in VA. I tried to sign up for a CSA early in the spring and all of the farmers were booked!! I guess that's a good thing since more people are doing it. I will know this time to sign up very soon.

  3. I haven't really gotten into this, to be honest. It's a huge commitment, as you say, and there is so much going on in my family now that we're lucky we aren't ordering take out every night. Things should slow down soon, though.

    Meanwhile, I'd like to toss in that for those of us (ahem, me!) that can't seem to commit, it's a good idea to take a peek and see what's around. Even if it's just a little bit of fresh, local produce every month, it's better than none, yeah? As things get easier, and it becomes more natural, and you realize that yes, you like it, you'll be able to increase how much you rely on local farmers.

  4. I'm in a CSA and love it. The Boulder Farmer's Market is too expensive for my tastes. I grew up with farmer's markets being inexpensive and nearly had a stroke when we moved out here. So my CSA is the way to go.

  5. We belong to a CSA and strongly believe it.

    I loved Barbara Kingsolver's book. So inspiring and really a calling for simpler, fuller lives.

  6. I LOVE my farmer's market. I haven't been in a while, mostly because I haven't been home. But when I can't make it there, I visit Henry's, which is a close second. But I absolutely love the farmer's market.

  7. I struggle with this. I'd like to buy locally and organic, but sometimes I let my procrastination win...at Costco. I do love the Farmer's Market and try to go every Saturday. Half the time I get distracted by the gorgeous flower bouquets sold there. But, hey, I'm buying local flowers!

  8. There is a fabulous local farmer's market about 2 blocks from me every Saturday, which I frequent... well, every Saturday! Unfortunately, during the week I haven't found much of anything that works for me... so the not-as-good-tasting not-as-good-for-the-world store-bought produce for us :(

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