Joining a CSA

Last week I mentioned that I was interested in joining a CSA. A CSA (for those of you who think it stands for Confederate States of America) is the abbreviation for "Community Supported Agriculture." Essentially, consumers purchase a share at a local farm and in return are promised a certain number of weeks of fresh produce. Some farms also encourage (or require) shareholders to come and work on the farm for a certain number of hours a season.

During the summer between my sophomore and junior years in college, some friends and I split a share. We loved picking up the weekly box full of (sometimes) strange vegetables that would challenge our cooking skills. One of the fun aspects of a CSA is that you don't get to pick the veggies, rather they give you a share of what is ripe and ready that week. One of the best things we made that summer was green-pea shoot/green garlic pesto.

After much research at Local Harvest, Chowhound, and many emails to different farmers, I went with Sunrise Harvest Farm in Preston, MD. I am really excited to start getting our veggies (probably in the beginning of June) and I expect that some of my future musings will be inspired by the CSA.

Update June, 2012: Turns out the farm had a lot of issues this year and we will be getting a refund. I was really looking forward to all of the veggies, especially now that we just got a juicer. We will have to rely on farmer's markets for this year, but will try again next summer!