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All About CSA
From the farm ...
... to the table: flash-roasted Kale Chips, Roasted Butternut Squash with Thai Basil and Garlic
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Save Your Money and Your Planet: The Politics of Food
So here’s the thing: you join a CSA, you buy your “farm share”, you get your weekly e-mail and blog post from the farm, you get your weekly stash of all this great food from these people you’ve never met -- and one day, you hear yourself telling a friend about “my farmers”. And you realize that for the first time in your life, you sort of know who’s producing your food. The actual humans who are feeding you.
A few months in, I’m thinking this is the greatest thing since unsliced bread so I call Deb and Pete Kavakos to ask if I can visit their Stoneledge Farm. I want to know if it was as good for them as it was for me. A week later, I’m there -- at the new found source of my sustenance. I’m walking through the fields that will be the source of next week’s Brussels sprouts and beets and broccoli and potatoes and kale and carrots and butternut squash -- and I’m picking very, very ripe late season raspberries.
It’s a cold, gray early Fall day. Deb and Pete are apologizing for this year’s “slim pickings”, the result of a summer of record rainfall and low temperatures. Here I’ve been getting this incredible weekly bounty and now I’m hearing that it’s been their worst season since they started the farm seventeen years ago. All I can think is, ‘How will we eat our whole weekly share in a good year?'
Please allow me to introduce you to my farmers. Watch the video to hear about Community Supported Agriculture from their point of view. If the great food alone doesn’t get you, knowing the people who grow it should have you searching for a CSA near you.
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Put your money where your mouth is - buy food from a farmer.
“The estimated bill for marketing domestic farm foods was $466 billion in 1998... 80 percent of the $585 billion consumers spent for these foods. The remaining 20 percent,or $119 billion,represents the gross return paid to farmers ... From 1988 to 1998, consumer expenditures for farm foods rose $186 billion. Roughly 88 percent of this increase resulted from an increase in the marketing bill.” (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture report) Things aren’t getting better: “In 2006, 19 cents of every dollar spent on U.S.-grown food went to the farmer for the raw food inputs ...” (USDA Economic Research Service, 2008)
No wonder the supermarket charges so much more than the CSA.