What CSA Is, and Why It’s Cool for Urban Families

Radishes!

Radishes!

Whenever I tell a local friend or neighbor I’m a part of CSA (and, for us, local means Park Slope, Brooklyn), they assume I’m talking about the sweet, well-tended little community garden on 6th Avenue. “Oh, yeah, I’ve walked past that garden!”

Nope. This is CSACommunity Supported Agriculture — and it means Chrissy and are part of a group of fellow city dwellers who buy Farm Shares from a farm outside the city in order to get super-fresh veggies and fruit delivered to Brooklyn each week. (Actually, we bought a half-share, so our pick-ups are every other week.)

We opted to get fresh eggs and flowers, too, and the whole thing costs a few hundred dollars for a steady supply of delicious produce that runs from June through the end of October.

Tons of other parents belong to our local group, Greenwood Heights CSA, too, and, while I can’t speak for them, I can say we’re loving it as a great choice for families because:

  • well, duh, it’s local and fresh, of course, but also….
  • the quality of the produce far surpasses what I could find with packaged fruits and veggies shipped in from who-knows-where and on display at my local Key Food or C-Town
  • the variety is fun! We’re all trying (and the moms are learning to cook) things we probably never would otherwise.

So far, we’ve had radishes, garlic scapes (think of them as garlicky green beans), green garlic, Japanese turnips, carrots, kale, peppery arugula, many kinds of lettuces, cabbage, cucumbers, zucchini, basil, scallions, berries, apricots, and more.

We still love our local farmers’ market, too, where many farmers turn up with their goods weekly. But this is kind of different and cool because it’s a real partnership between a specific farm (Hearty Roots in Tivoli, New York) and the people who support it by buying shares.

Curious about CSA? Here’s how to find a CSA farm near you.

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