Now is the time for a CSA
Updated: Jan 7
Today I signed up for a summer CSA share (Community Supported Agriculture) at Blandford Nature Center, an urban nature center close to my home. This will give me a 21-week allotment of local farm-grown vegetables from June through October http://blandfordnaturecenter.org/farm/. I also plant my own small-space courtyard garden, which is perfect for early baby lettuce, tomatoes, vertically-grown cucumbers, and the herbs I can’t live without like basil, rosemary, and cilantro. But it’s just not enough space to come close to the diversity needed for vegetarian and vegan cooking.
So the CSA is the perfect complement to my small raised-bed garden. Blandford’s 2.5 acre farm grows about forty vegetables and over two hundred varieties and is a convenient stop on my daily path for the once-weekly produce pick-up.
I just saved shopping time, drive time, traffic and parking hassles. I’ll know who is growing my food, and I already feel really great supporting Blandford’s farm. I need to know where my food comes from, that it’s grown locally without chemicals and is not shipped across the country—and my goal is to give as much of my business to local farmers as possible.
2019 is the year to analyze food purchases and habits, how these choices impact the planet and climate change. Where does our food come from? Is it local? Is it sustainably grown? Is it organic or certified as naturally grown? In doing some quick research I discovered there are (at least) twenty-four CSA’s in the greater Grand Rapids area, many with drop-off’s near the city. The local food movement is expanding.
Being healthy and reducing CO2 has a direct connection to our food choices. Choosing locally-grown food, eliminating chemicals, and saving habitat and wildlife is all interconnected. Our local economies, small businesses, and communities benefit and thrive. When it’s this convenient and makes so much sense, I wonder why it took me this long to try a CSA.