Invitation: Transform your kitchen into a wellness center with local, fresh, delicious food from a CSA – Community Supported Agriculture – this summer.
Though it’s not here just yet, I imagine you’re starting to daydream about summer, a season that brings energy, activity, and ample opportunities to indulge in locally-produced, hyper-fresh food. There’s something so special about delicate, just-harvested spring greens in May or a perfectly sun-ripened heirloom tomato in August; it’s as if you can taste the sunshine and warmth in these foods. So I have a fun idea to propose to you: why not shake up your grocery shopping habits this summer and try buying directly from some of Minnesota’s dedicated farmers instead? (Or try buying from a farmer from your state if you don’t live in Minnesota.)
Many small Minnesota farms are CSAs, which stands for “Community Supported Agriculture.” “Members,” (you – the shopper/enthusiastic eater), buy into a farm in exchange for a weekly or bi-monthly delivery of assorted produce. (Some also offer meat or eggs.) Joining a CSA is undoubtedly one of the most impactful upgrades you can make to your life. Here are a few reasons why:
- Joining a CSA promotes diversity in one’s diet. When we’re getting our food from the grocery store, we tend to walk down the same aisles every week and fill our carts with virtually the same foods each time. Conversely, if we’re getting a weekly delivery of whatever is in season that week, our food changes routinely and effortlessly. This is really good for us; dietary diversity is essentially another form of health insurance.
- Local foods are fresher. Buying locally cuts down travel time from farm to table, preserving essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. (Studies show 50% of vitamin C was lost in broccoli shipped from out of the country and 47% of folate was lost in spinach within 8 days of being harvested.) Fresher foods give us more bang per bite.
- Local foods are in season. This translates into peak deliciousness alongside peak nutrient density. Tomatoes boast that deep red color, flavor, and texture that makes them real tomatoes. Winter tomatoes are such an inadequate substitutes, aren’t they?
- Local foods are better for the environment. Some foods are shipped literally thousands of miles across the world; that is a big carbon footprint that could be avoided by supporting our neighbors instead.
- CSAs preserve green space and farmland.
- CSAs are economical. Most CSAs deliver a bushel of produce a week, and the price point for this organic, uber-fresh food is typically lower than at the coops.
Feeling inspired? Here are a few of my favorite CSAs in Minnesota:
www.springhillcommunityfarm.com (my CSA :)
You can also search for a CSA near you at:
In love & service,
P.S. As always, I’d love for you to leave a comment below. I’m always curious about what you’re thinking, and I’ll always respond.