Are your New Year’s resolutions already in the rearview mirror? If so, you’re not alone, but you still have time to make good on at least one. NOFA Vermont is pleased to join other organizations and farms from around the country in raising awareness for the third annual CSA Day on February 23. People who are committed to eating healthy foods, supporting their local farmer, and being adventurous in the kitchen can make good on one of their resolutions by signing up for a spring or summer CSA now. A directory of farms in Vermont with CSAs is available online at nofavt.org/buydirect.
CSA (community-supported agriculture) is a subscription to a season’s worth of locally grown produce that is distributed to members throughout the harvest season. It is a form of investment that allows farms to grow and become economically stable. CSA members enjoy the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables for their family, while supporting their local farmer.
Getting food from a CSA is different from going to a farmers market or using a grocery delivery service. As a CSA member, you make a seasonal commitment to a small farmer in your area, and the produce is either picked up on the farm or delivered to a local distribution center. CSA members take pleasure in knowing where and how their food is grown, and typically have an open line of communication with their farmer.
“Community supported agriculture is an incredible way to support your local farmer,” said Erin Buckwalter, director of market development at NOFA Vermont, a member-based non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the consumption and availability of local and organic foods. “Also, many people may not realize the ways that CSAs have evolved. There are many options available now, where families can choose large or small shares; receive pre-boxed packages or have more choice; choose add-ons like meat, dairy, and eggs; and find pick-up locations that are convenient and close.”
According to Small Farm Central’s CSA Farming Annual Report, the most popular time to join a CSA each year is at the end of February. To promote this important time for farmers, CSA Day was coined, and each year it falls on the last Friday in February, when CSA farmers can enjoy an influx of sign-ups from members, giving them revenue when they need it most for the growing season.
About NOFA Vermont — The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont is a member-based organization working to grow local farms, healthy food, and strong communities in Vermont. Our members are farmers, gardeners, educators and food lovers of all sorts – anyone who wants to help us create a future full of local food and local farms. Our programs include farmer and gardener technical assistance, farm to school support, organic certification, advocacy, an online apprentice and farm worker directory, an annual Winter Conference, and programs that work to ensure access to fresh, local food to all Vermonters, regardless of income.
About Small Farm Central and CSA Day —In 2006, Simon Huntley combined his passion for helping small farmers and his experience in technology to found Small Farm Central. The organization serves the technology needs of small business farmers, including websites, ecommerce, CSA member management and marketing tools. Small Farm Central coined CSA Day in February 2015 to celebrate local agriculture among CSA members and farmers. Small Farm Central has worked with more than 1,000 farms across the U.S. and Canada. For more information, please visit www.smallfarmcentral.com and www.csaday.info.