photo by John Robinson
expect to plant and harvest throughout the season. Some farms pre-pack boxes for members while others allow members to pick & choose certain quantities from the week’s harvest. Depending on your preference, this can make a big difference in how you enjoy your CSA. While some like the convenience and anticipation of pre-packed boxes, others like to handpick. Some farms also offer specialty items, either produced by them or through partnerships with another farms or smallscale food producers. Find out what is included in your CSA, how your weekly allotment is selected and what other “addon” options (such as beans, meat, fruit, bread, cheese, eggs, honey, wool/yarn, etc.) will be available to you as a member. Keep in mind that some of these “add-on” options are usually at an additional cost.
6 Bulk Quantities for Preserving A CSA share typically provides an amount of produce for immediate consumption by you and your family. If you’re interested in food preservation (canning, freezing, drying, pickling, etc.) or extra quantities for juicing, ask about what bulk buying arrangements the farm offers to CSA members.
7 Production Practices One benefit of joining a CSA is knowing how your food is grown. Some CSAs have certified organic farms and most do not use GMOs or pesticides. But even farms that are not certified organic may use organic, sustainable practices. You can find out more about each farm’s operation by going to its website or asking farmers about their farming practices.
8 You Pick & Farm Visits Most CSA farms harvest the bulk of the produce each week for members. In addition, many offer "you pick" crops that are available in either a limited or unlimited quantity during farm pickups. Going out to the farm to pick herbs, flowers and veggies can be a fun family activity, so find out what opportunities there are for going to the farm to spend time and pick, if that is of interest to you.
9 Opportunities & Involvement CSA farms typically welcome involvement from their members. Most farms organize one or more farm events each season and some farms encourage their members to "drop in." Each farm’s