Friday, February 5, 2016

National CSA sign-up day in three weeks!

According to the indisputable knowledge of Punxsutawney Phil, spring is officially on it's way. Soon enough, vibrant tomatoes will once again grace green vines, and the mysterious kohlrabi will present itself to eager and adventurous kitchen pioneers. Meaning, it's the perfect time to sign up for a share of summer vegetables, especially with CSA Signup Day approaching on Friday, February 26th.

CSA, which stands for community supported agriculture, is a mutually supportive business model between farmers and consumers. The consumer purchases a certain amount of boxes (or shares) of farm-produced foods, which differ depending on the share and the consumer’s needs. They can range from vegetables to shares of meat, eggs, and even maple syrup or honey. The pay-forward model provides farmers with the revenue they need ahead of the growing season to buy necessary supplies, as well as ensures that if the harvest is plentiful, the consumer and farmer share in the bounty. The same goes for an unfruitful season—a financial security net for the grower.

Last year, most CSA signups happened in late February, so Small Farm Central—a organization that supports the economic success of farmers as a means of developing a viable local food system—has set the 2016 CSA Signup Day to reflect this. It's a time to celebrate what it means to be part of community supported agriculture, both in terms of bringing together local farmers with local eaters, as well as in highlighting the culinary enjoyment that fresh, nutrient-rich food can induce.

Meaning, it's also a great time of year to live in the North Country. With multiple local CSA farms holding varying degrees of shareholder commitment—ranging from those that distribute produce right to the consumer, to those that require shareholders to work a certain amount of hours per month as part of their membership—there's bound to be one to fit the needs of any veggie lover.

If you and your family would like to enjoy the healthy, fresh, local food offered by a CSA but feel as though purchasing a share is outside your budget, GardenShare may be able to help. As part of the CSA Bonus Bucks program, qualifying recipients pay a reduced price for their share, and the rest is covered by grants and donations. For more information on this program, please email GardenShare at

More information on Small Farm Central and CSA Day 2016: