BELLINGHAM, Wash. — For consumers eagerly awaiting fresh spring and summer produce, now is the time to find your Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmer. February 20th – 26th is CSA Week, a nation-wide effort supported by the CSA Innovation Network to promote CSA farmers and encourage consumers to sign up early for CSA subscriptions. Eat Local First is promoting its CSA Finder to help consumers in Washington find local food subscriptions near them, and offering six lucky people an opportunity to enter to win $200 toward their choice of a CSA share from any CSA farm in Washington. Additional resources, tips and stories of local CSA farms and fisheries are also available on the Eat Local First website.
Joining a farm’s CSA is one of the most significant ways consumers can support local farmers and CSA Week is all about raising awareness of the importance of CSA. “Now more than ever, people recognize the value of local food that they can track to its source. CSA Week is all about connecting communities to their farmers and to the land their food comes from,” said Sadie Willis, coordinator of the CSA Innovation Network.
CSA shares or “farm shares”, come in a variety of options – produce, fruit, fish, meat, eggs, dairy, even flowers across the seasons, with some farms even offering year-round options. “There’s something for everyone,” says Jess Meyer, Food and Farming Outreach Coordinator at Sustainable Connections and member of the Eat Local First Collaborative, “and farmers often offer recipes and cooking tips so consumers can feel confident about enjoying the bounty they receive in each box.”
For those that wonder about affordability considering recent food price increases it is key to note that there are farms offering a sliding scale for payment, and the CSA Finder lists over 40 CSA programs that accept SNAP/EBT benefits for shares. Additionally, these local food boxes come in different sizes, frequencies, and season lengths. Collaboration is at the heart of CSA, so you’ll find that many growers and producers work together to include each others’ products resulting in larger variety and diversity of products. Additionally, partnerships with local businesses and community partners that serve as pick up locations have increased accessibility for farmers while also building a stronger sense of community and adding to their loyal customer base.
With so many CSA options available, it can be hard to narrow down and choose, which is why the CSA finder allows consumers to use a number of filters to search by type, location, owner diversity and sustainable practices to help them find their perfect CSA match.
CSA Finder: eatlocalfirst.org/csa
Enter to Win: eatlocalfirst.org/enter-to-
CSA FAQ’s: eatlocalfirst.org/csa-faq eatlocalfirst.org/wa-food-
— Eat Local First