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CSA: Community Supported Agriculture
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Meet My Farmers

Now here's something worth having: Better Cheaper food from a local farm. Community Supported Agriculture is a great idea that's becoming a movement.

The idea is brilliant in every way. You buy a share of a local farm's produce; once a week, you pick up your share (bring your own bags). Each week, you get a variety of vegetables at their seasonal peak.

The local farm gets the guaranty of your, and your community's, support. This removes economic risk and the cost and burden of marketing. The farmers get to spend their time farming. You get to eat their good work - at a favorable price.

And everyone involved gets to be part of a genuine community. You meet your farmer; you meet your fellow supporters and neighbors.

You get a great deal. The food's as fresh as it gets; it's hard to beat the prices. You get a highly varied, diversified diet of real food. And you get to figure out how to cook and serve a new batch of ingredients every week. I'm here to help with this part - it's totally fun, A New Way Every Day.

If you're a Better Cheaper Slower subscriber, I tell you what's in my CSA box each week -- and what I'm cooking each day. I post the recipes and serving ideas -- and photos and video of it all. And I report on CSA produce from other parts of the country and suggest recipes. A New Way Every Day to raise your standard of living and lower your cost of living. Ten dollars for a year. Subscribe now.

Here's how my CSA group works. I live in the middle of Manhattan; we don't have what you'd call a really local farm. But I can take a 10-minute walk to a pickup location where, every Tuesday, I get the good stuff from Stoneledge Farm, a certified organic farm about two hours north of here. (They grew everything in the photos on this page.) If you live in a city or a nearby suburb, you should be able to find a reasonably convenient pickup point. If you live within driving distance of a CSA farm, you'll get to visit the farm weekly.

In our CSA, every shareholder commits to working two hours each season: we go to the pickup location one week to help with the food distribution. (Some CSAs deliver right to your home.) Our season here in the northeast is June through November. We get 24 weeks of great stuff for $515 -- a little more than $20 per week. Here in the Big Apple, this is an amazing bargain compared to shopping in grocery stores - and a savings over even the Farmers Markets.

Raise your standard of living and lower your cost of living. A New Way Every Day for a year - for $10. Subscribe now.

My Personal Experience:

It works as advertised; the quality of the produce consistently exceeds my expectations. I bought my "farm share" for $515 ($21/week). For 24 consecutive Tuesdays, I get pounds and pounds of absolutely fresh vegetables.

I take the dog on the 10-minute walk to a neighborhood church that serves as a distribution center; chat a bit with some newly befriended neighbors; load up my bag; walk back home with a week's worth of vegetables.

This year, I signed up for the "fruit share", too. The fruit looked great last year, but they'd already sold out for the season. I have to tell you, I can't imagine not doing this every year. It was a real bummer reverting to the "old way" during the CSA-dormant winter season here in the Northeast.

This CSA thing is one of those great ideas that actually works.