You ate them last Thanksgiving. Pop quiz - do cranberries grow from a tree, a bush, or a vine? You might be struggling with the answer because almost all Americans never see where their food comes from (the answer is a vine by the way).
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an idea that might be changing this food neglect. Consumers pay a specified membership once a month, and in return receive fresh produce from local farms, once a week.
Hazel Edwards, 14, resident of Acton, MA belongs to a local CSA farm with her family, where she likes “[s]eeing where food comes from and getting to pick it ourselves.” In addition, Hazel likes the friendly atmosphere and “getting to meet the people who work there. They’re really nice and cool!”
This relationship greatly benefits both farmer and consumer.
- Consumers receive fresh, vitamin-rich food.
- Consumers learn about new vegetables and ways to cook them.
- Consumers experience the “pick-your-own” atmosphere and learn more about harvesting various types of vegetables.
- Little transportation is necessary to get the food from the farm to your plate-all CSA farms are just a walk or quick drive away.
- Farmers get cash early in the season, which aids their budget.
- Farmers know their consumers and see who consumes their food.
- All members of the system establish a friendly community, due to the idea that everyone works together to keep the cycle going.
What can you do?
--submitted by Field Reporter Bridget Ashton (@Bridget14a)