Signing up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is one of the best decisions you can ever make for food security. Instead of having to head to the stores and buy less healthy processed foods, you get everything supplied to your doorstep. Whether it’s vegetables, fruits, or other farm products, you can have it all.
The abundance from the CSA can easily become overwhelming even to the most thoughtful of persons. Here is how to get the best out of the CSA.
1. Understand what CSA entails
The first step towards getting the most out of CSA is to understand exactly what it is all about. Think about what is CSA as you start from the basics.
CSA is an agricultural format where the community supports local farmers. The farms offer their produce to the community at a stipulated time. The local community in the meantime would pay the farmers promptly to ensure the farm produce is ready in time and of the highest quality.
Both the farmers and the local community end up gaining. The community is assured of healthy food while the farmers don’t have to spend much on marketing due to the assured market.
2. Think ahead
One of the concerns about signing up for CSA is wasting a lot of food. It doesn’t make sense to sign up for the program if you don’t like salads and fresh foods. Neither is it ideal for you when you rarely make your own meals.
Understand your food needs before you join the program. For example, ensure your order for only what is enough for you and the family. Taking much will only lead to wastage. It’s also ideal if the fresh food is also already part of your meal plan and you enjoy cooking.
3. Eat in season
Unlike the stores where you can purchase any fruit or vegetable at any time of the year, CSA is seasonal. At one point there will be too many tomatoes while in the other months it will be lettuce or any other fruit in abundance.
When unprepared you might have to supplement with supermarket products. However, to save more, you can opt to eat what is available. In most cases, they are items you can substitute for the other.
4. Prepare your fridge and freezer
The food from CSA is too much and you won’t eat them in one or two sittings. To avoid wastage, keep them in the fridge or freezer. Ensure these operate at the optimum temperatures at all times. Avoid overstocking too many items in the spaces to allow for air circulation.
5. Get creative
Have you ever wanted to try out a recipe but never got to it? The supply from the CSA is the best opportunity to try out your food ideas. Maybe it’s some salad combo you had imagined or something else. Do not worry about messing things up. This can be the time to create your signature family meal.
What are the benefits of CSA?
Once you have known how to make the most out of CSA, the other aspect to understand is how beneficial the CSA is. This helps reinforce the need for the proper use of the supply.
Some of the top benefits of CSA include;
Sustainable and convenient agriculture
Given the impact of human activities on the environment, the world is coming up with ways to reduce environmental impacting activities. Agriculture has played a role in increasing the world’s carbon footprint through the use of chemicals and poor soil practices. Other than the environmental factors, sustainability also ensures fair market practices. The CSA looks to make agriculture more sustainable.
To achieve sustainability, CSA integrates three main objectives in its dealings; social and economic equity, economic profitability and a healthy environment.
To achieve the objective the CSA farming includes growing methods that conserve energy, minimize water use, promote soil health, lower pollution emission and minimize food waste.
If there is one thing that you have to appreciate with the CSA fresh food supply is the health benefits. Most people never have time to grow or go to the market to buy fresh produce. Others also consider them costly and take time to prepare. Therefore the bigger population is opting for junk foods. This in turn has led to various lifestyle diseases like obesity, ulcers and high blood pressure.
The best way to avoid most of the common lifestyle diseases is by eating healthy. CSA ensures you eat by delivering fresh and well-grown foods. The fruits and vegetables in your diet help build your immunity and encourage wellness. They also help moderate your appetite, lower your glycemic index, keep your eyes healthy and lower the risk of digestive issues.
Getting the family involved
The CSA is one way to get the family involved in your eating plans. No single person gets the monopoly of choosing what the family eats. Instead, you can rely on the variety of the CSA produce to let everyone have a say.
The other way to involve the family is by choosing recipes. The large quantity supply allows you to try out different ways to eat your fruits and vegetables. Make it fun by letting every family member come up with ideas.
Support for local farmers
One thing that stands out about the CSA method is the community support. The CSA is all about your well being and that of the farmer. It believes in the community members working together to deliver a wholesome community. In exchange for your subscription, the farmer does not have to struggle with concerns of loss or risk not farming due to lack of market. Staying signed for the CSA ensures they have the guaranteed market for their produce, hence sustainable life.
CSA has been around for years now and will keep on existing due to massive benefits to farmers and buyers. However, avoiding wastage is crucial. Use the above tips to get the most out of your supply. Avoiding the wastage ensures CSA keeps working for longer to enjoy the many benefits it comes with. Click here for more information on how to get started on a reliable CSA while avoiding wastage.