As the weather warms we’re thinking about cleaning up our own yards and perhaps growing our own gardens for the summer. Many of our farmers are starting their registration for CSA’s or Community Supported Agriculture.
For those new to CSA’s, it’s a way for consumers farmers to connect with in-season locally grown products. The consumer buys a share of the products that are grown and they are delivered (or you can pick them up from the farm) to your home allowing for the absolute freshest vegetables and herbs. You could liken a CSA to a subscription box or grocery delivery service in that your products will be delivered on a schedule. CSA’s will include vegetables, but each CSA is as unique as the farm that grows the product.
For the consumers, it’s a terrific opportunity to get vegetables, fruit, eggs, and meat to your door fresh from the farm to your door. Another benefit to CSA’s is trying new products you weren’t sure of or had never heard of. If you love to cook and try new things, CSA’s are perfect for foodies or for those that love farm-fresh food (don’t we all!).
The benefits are great for a small farm as well. It’s great for small farms as they can grow for a specific audience and have a guaranteed set of customers for the summer, and creating a relationship with their customers.
A few things to consider when purchasing a CSA membership. When you join a CSA you’re making a commitment to the farmer and them to you. As any farmer will tell you, crops depend on a number of factors for things to go well, but one thing they can’t control is the weather. That will be reflected in your box. If a farm’s crops of zucchinis have been impacted by a storm, you may not get zucchinis. BUT, if it’s been a great year for growing, you will share in the wealth of the farm. Yes. If you have other suggestions or tips for first-time CSA participants, please let us know in the comments.
How to find a CSA in Alberta
It’s important to look for a farm in your region as the farmer will deliver your CSA box straight to your door. You can find farms in your region or ask your farmer at your local farmers market if they offer CSA. It is important to find a CSA early in the year as opposed to in the summer as the CSA spots can be limited and therefore sold out.
List of CSA’s in Alberta.
We have compiled our list of CSA’s in Alberta.*[table id=5 /]
Map of Farms
Find a farm with a CSA near you.
*If you are a farmer and would like to be on this list or know of a CSA farm that should be included, please email details to firstname.lastname@example.org