Summertime equals cheap produce.
Produce is in season and there is an abundance of it.
And luckily there are many different ways to get your hands on cheap produce. Over the next week we will be discussing Kansas City Farmers Markets and Planting Your Own Garden.
But, today we are going to talk about CSA – Community Supported Agriculture.
I’ve written about my love of Kansas City CSA Programs before and I’ve belonged to one for the last three years.
In essence, you buy a “share” of the what the local farmer will grow during a season. Typically, seasons last from mid-May till the beginning of October.
And nine-times-out-of-ten the produce will be organic. While it isn’t “certified organic” because of the expensive certification process, most CSA farmers are eco-conscious and grow without chemicals.
The concept of a CSA is pretty easy to understand, what perplexes most people is the execution.
Questions like, “Do I have to work on the farm? Isn’t this just for hippies? Where do I go to pick up my produce? What kind of produce will they give me? What if I don’t like Kale?” can come to mind.
Each CSA will have their own guidelines. Some allow you to work on the farm, some don’t. Some let you pick and choose your produce, some don’t. Some deliver to your house, some don’t.
And knowing these answers is important. You need a CSA that will work for your family. It should be a joy, not a burden.
So before you choose a CSA, check out localharvest.org. It will provide you with all of the local CSAs in your area and their contact information. It also helps you get an idea of the costs and the produce you will be receiving, as well as if you are able to come out to the farm and help with the harvest.
Because of our hectic lifestyle, the Hen House CSA Program works best for our family. In the future, we may choose a different CSA, but for this season, this one works the best.
- Pick up is on either a Saturday or Wednesday at your local Hen House store. You can also change your pick up day if you let the coordinator know in advance.
- You can trade items. Don’t like Kale? No problem. Trade your Kale for another item because everything has a point value and can be mixed and matched.
- It’s only $10 to join the “organization” and after that, it’s $25 per week and that includes meat, dairy, produce and bread. And while it is a bit of splurge for our budget, I have NEVER been disappointed with my items.
- You support local farmers that may be too small to do their own CSA but have amazing quality produce.
And if you have Netflix, the movie “Fresh” features Good Natured Family Farms and their relationship with the Ball Family (owners of Hen House). Good Natured Family Farms is one of the major suppliers to the CSA every week.
Over the next week, I’ll also give you a guide to Kansas City Farmer’s Markets and Growing Your Own Garden.
Disclosure: Kansas City Mamas received a free membership to the Hen House CSA. However, the written remarks are entirely my own since I was a paying CSA member prior. Want more information – check out my full disclosure statement.
Are any of you current or former CSA members? Share your experience in the comments or on the Kansas City Mamas Facebook Page.