Got your CSA yet?

There are only a couple of weeks left to order your CSA from Stoney Plains Farm and pick up your lovely box of goodies here at the Tumwater Market every week this summer! They have shares sized for 1-2 people and for families of 3-4. If that sounds like too much, or if you just want to try it out a little before jumping in, I can personally recommend pairing up with a co-worker or neighbor and splitting a share. You can make someone else take the yucky stuff (although you can trade out something you really don’t like, and anyway, I think half the fun of a CSA is trying the new stuff) and trade recipes, advice, and ideas.

Did I hear someone ask “What’s a CSA?” Think of it as a sort of farm subscription. For a payment in the spring, members get a weekly box of the farm’s best produce all summer long. Sometimes the box even includes special treats not available to ordinary customers, or first chance at high-demand add-on items (for instance, when Kirsop Farm first started experimenting with pastured chickens, their CSA members had first crack at them). CSA members end up paying less than the conventional customers, too, and if it turns out to be a bad year for some crop, guess who eats first.

For those of you who like to take the back off and poke at the gears: CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and, technically, means the whole program; but most people use it to mean their share: “We have a CSA” or even “I’m going to pick up my CSA now.” Community Supported Agriculture is a system that lets the community — that’s us — support a local farm by sharing some of the expense and risk of farming. In the conventional system, the farmer pretty much has to get a loan every spring to buy seeds, fertilizer, worker hours, and so on until the harvest is big enough to generate income and let the farmer start paying off that loan, and the interest on that loan. Great deal for the banks, right? In a CSA program, community members cover those expenses and get their interest in edible form. It takes the whole cut-out-the-middleman concept to a delicious new new level!

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