Eat Organic, Buy Local, Support your CSA

Two years ago I participated in a local farm CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) with a neighbour. Each week we would drive to the farm and pick up my fresh vegetables and other produce. There was enough produce that we were able to split the weekly provisions between us.

Last year I decided to participate in a ten week program with the Grinnell Heritage Farm over the summer and into fall. Melissa and Andrew Dunham run the farm in Grinnell, which is about 70 miles to the west. They grow their vegetables and other produce organically and deliver it to collection sites in various cities. You go over to the collection site, usually close by, and pick up your box of goodies on your way home from work.

Each week on Monday I would receive a newsletter from the farm telling me about the items I would be picking up as well as recipes and information about the produce - storage, history. The newsletter also lists several events at the farm which shareholders are encouraged to come to. What impressed me with the Grinnell Heritage Farm was the wide variety of unique and heirloom vegetables coupled with the dedication of the Dunhams to their endeavour.

And then there’s the environment. Instead of many cars driving out to the farm, or worse yet - buying produce in a supermarket which gets trucked in from many thousands of miles, only one delivery vehicle comes from the farm to the local drop off areas - thus reducing overall fuel consumption, and consequently lessening the impact on our environment.

I’m signing up for another season, and I urge you to check with your local CSA farms on joining in. Together we can buy local and support our farms, a win-win, in my opinion.