Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs get people in touch with the food they put in their mouths, and several can be found in the Miami area. Each CSA is slightly different, but in general you sign up directly with a farmer to be part of his or her CSA, and every week a box of fresh produce is dropped off at a central location where you pick it up.
Participating in a CSA allows you to connect with your food and its growers. We hope that through reading this blog you’ve been encouraged to ask questions, think twice, and ultimately get involved with your food choices. Not only does supporting local agriculture encourage a healthy local economy, it encourages a healthier you!
Here are a few of our favorite reasons to join a CSA:
1.Produce loses most vitamins and minerals after 6 days. Imported goods that you likely buy in a grocery store will travel more than 6 days and 1,000 miles before getting to your plate.
2. Local produce and farming operations are consistently inspected and certified safe by the USDA, guaranteeing food safety. Imported goods are not regulated, and neither are the agricultural practices in other countries.
3. It’s fun! You buy a fresh box of whatever’s in season every week. Sometimes the produce is exotic and unfamiliar, which means not only that you get to try new things but also that you learn to prepare them. This is a fun family activity and can teach kids about agriculture.
4. Ultimately, you’re a part of the solution to climate change. Big agriculture is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and by localizing agriculture we can reduce those emissions significantly.
5. Find out more about the benefits of a CSA here.
LocalHarvest offers a guide to help you choose the CSA that’s right for you. Local Food South Florida has a list of CSAs in the area. For those of you who are not from South Florida, we’re really excited that you’re reading and we hope you continue! The United States Department of Agriculture provides a pretty comprehensive list of places to find local farms around the country.