'csa' on Serious Eats

The Pros and Cons of Joining a CSA

The spring harvest is upon us, and in many communities, it's the last call to sign up for a CSA for the full growing season. But before making the leap and joining one, consider whether the program is right for you. There are many pros and cons to weigh, and the summer can be an unexpected time - for you and that farm. Here's a handy list of pros and cons about CSA as opposed to other modes of food-shopping. More

Help Send a Serious Eats Contributor to the White House!

You know Leah Douglas from her two weekly columns here (In Food Policy This Week and Serious Reads) but blogging is just one of many food-related activities for Leah. As an undergrad at Brown University, she's studying agriculture and food policy and is an active campus leader in the Brown Market Shares Program, which has been selected among thousands as a semi-finalist in a White House college challenge. Vote for the Brown Market Shares Program here >> Let's help SE'r Leah out! More

Weekend Cook and Tell Round Up: CSA, Yay or Nay?

For last week's Weekend Cook and Tell we asked all of you to share your stories of CSAs (community supported agriculture) for a challenge we called Hooray for CSA! While opinions ran strong about the value of CSA over farmers' markets, many of you shared wonderful experiences and recipes based around that weekly vegetable pick-up while others gave some pretty strong arguments against them. Let's take a look at some of our freshest stories and thoughts on CSAs. More

Wine CSAs: Community Supported Alcohol

A Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, allows locavores to snap up shares in all manner of produce, meats, cheeses, and more local harvest bounty. including wine. Here's how it works: thirsty supporters sign up, committing to purchase a share of the product when it becomes available. The benefit is clear for small-scale vintners—they are guaranteed a market for the product when it becomes available. And for the buyer, the benefit is the opportunity to support local producers and secure a limited-edition wine that may be available for retail purchase only in very limited supply. More

Poll: Are You Joining a CSA This Year?

Many CSAs (an acronym for Community Supported Agriculture) offer fruit and vegetable shares that start in May and June, and last through the fall. CSA members buy a "share" in a farm, which means they not only get a box of fresh produce, but also get to invest in the local farm. Throughout the growing season, members pick up their food (which has also branched out into eggs, meat, cheese, flowers, and more). Have you already joined a CSA or plan to? And if so, let us know where and what farm. Take the poll! » More

Serious Green: Community Supported Kitchens

"A CSK doesn't just deliver local, sustainable product, it provides you with a ready-to-eat meal." [Flickr: Neighborhood Notes] You try your best to be green, buying local when you can, recycling, conserving water, the list goes on. But when it comes to participating in a Community Supported Agriculture (or CSA) share, you stop short. Unknown quantities of a random assortment of vegetables piling up on you week after week? Eeek. If this sounds like you, or maybe you don't like too cook or find it too time-consuming or too isolating, Community Supported Kitchens to the rescue! A Community Supported Kitchen (CSK) is a new idea to connect farmers and eaters, especially those eaters who wand to eat locally, but currently... More

Meet Your Farmers: Lisa and Ali Moussalli of Frog Bottom Farm, Virginia

Note: Meet Your Farmers is a weekly series where we profile the farmers that mean so much to serious eaters everywhere. This week we introduce you to a young couple in Virginia (with a little farmer of their own on the way) who met through farming and are now making a living out of it. [Photographs: Lisa Moussalli] Name: Lisa and Ali Moussalli Farm: Frog Bottom Farm in Pamplin, Virginia How many acres? 25 acres with eight to ten under cultivation Your crew: Every year we hire a small crew of seasonal workers to join us planting vegetables, harvesting them, sharing them with customers through the CSA program and farmers' markets, and tending to our farm animals. Most of them... More

Meet Your Farmers: John Lee of Allandale Farm, Massachusetts

Note: Meet Your Farmers is a Monday morning series where we profile the farmers that mean so much to serious eaters everywhere. This week, Penny Cherubino of BostonZest introduces us to John Lee. [Penny Cherubino] Name: John Lee Farm: Allandale Farm, "Boston's last working farm" in Brookline, Massachusetts How many acres? 30 Your crew: I manage two crews, one for production and one for market. Both crews are local. However, my field crew (many of whom have worked for me for many years) are almost all of Latino descent and have done farm work most of their lives. It is what they love to do, and we try to make it as easy and as much fun as possible. Hours:... More

Serious Green: Community Supported Bacon, CSA's Move Beyond Squash and Tomatoes

Food makers across the country have taken the idea of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program and run with it. There are thousands of traditional fruit and vegetable CSA programs in the United States (go to LocalHarvest to find one in your neighborhood). Generally, consumers sign-up in the winter months for a "share" of a local farmer's harvest come spring and summer. This ensures that farmers get cash for repairs, seeds, supplies, and tools when they need it most: in the barren, vegetable-less winter months when they have no regular income. Doing sign-ups in the cold months also allows farmers to make a better guess of the demand for their product and how much they should plant. Below are... More

It Ain't a Mirage

It's always perplexed me to watch Florida, that perma-tropic state, import its strawberries from Mexico, lemons from Seville, and oranges--I kid you not--from California, when all of these grow prolifically in our own back yards (or at least they did, before cutting crews cut down all the citrus trees during the canker scare of '02--I swear, if it's not one thing it's another). But this article in the Palm Beach Post claims to have seen people joining forces to buy organic food. Have I judged my people too harshly?... More

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