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Community Supported Agriculture Get Your Share

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hen you’re doing the family’s weekly grocery shopping in your local supermarket, do you check labels to see where the food’s coming from? Does it matter to you that you have no idea under what conditions that food was grown, what kind of fertilizer was used to grow it, or, if it’s meat, what feed was given to the animals? It should—and it does—to an increasingly larger percentage of the population. In recent years people have become more careful about choosing the foods they feed their families. It’s no wonder, with all the media scares about tainted and contaminated foods that have been found to come from producers that sometimes operate under poorly-supervised and unsanitary conditions. Add to that the concern about chemical fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics, and the result is a growing population of educated consumers who are looking for food sources that they feel safer and more confident about. That safer food source is often a farm share or community supported agriculture program, otherwise known as a CSA. CSAs are essentially programs that allow consumers to purchase a “share” of a local farmer’s crop at the start of the growing season, which typically runs from June through October or November. The cost of membership averages $400 - $600, and entitles members to come to the farm each week and pick up their “share” of the farmer’s harvest. For members living in a more urban area, some farmers arrange drop-off points where those members can retrieve their goods more conveniently instead of traveling to the farm. Members who purchase a season’s “share” can see first-hand the food that is being grown for them. They get to check out the farmer’s operation, meet their farmer personally, and find out all they want to know about how their food is grown, cared for, and harvested. If they’re purchasing meat shares, they can see the living conditions of the livestock they will eat, how they’re cared for, and what they’re fed. All of these things ultimately affect the quality of the meat that will be yielded by these animals that ends up on the dinner table. (Continued on page 82)

Foodies of New England

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Foodies of New England Fall 2012  

Diners. Gluten-free Fall Classics.Farm to Table.

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