The Vida Verde CSA program provides our community an opportunity to invest in your local food system and experience the farm to its fullest. In exchange for an annual membership, we provide you weekly boxes of our seasonal vegetables, fruits, and value-added products. As a CSA member, you will enjoy everything we grow, from Spring greens, onions, and green garlic, to Summer cucumbers and fresh beans, to Fall carrots, cabbages, and sweet potatoes.
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How does a CSA Work?
Our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) provides a format for people to both share in the abundance of our farm and become more involved and aware of their local food system. At the start of the season, our members invest upfront in our farm, when our income is sparse and expenses are high. In exchange, we provide our CSA members produce all season long, alongside weekly e-maill updates detailing the contents of the box and updates on our farm's operations. The CSA is, ultimately, for people interested in getting to know their farmers, wanting to broaden their cooking horizons, and looking for local produce outside of the farmers' market or grocery aisle. If you're such a person, look no further!
Questions to Ask
We believe it's important for anyone considering a CSA to ask him or herself a few key questions. Our CSA is a 26 week commitment, during which our members allow us to do their grocery shopping for them. If you are considering joining our CSA, we highly recommend you consider these following questions...
- Do I have time to prioritize cooking? Usually, our CSA members find themselves cooking. A lot. You will be receiving a grocery bag filled to the brim with produce, every week, for 6 months. If you enjoy regularly eating out or just don't have time to cook in your week, a CSA will overwhelm you quickly.
- Am I interested in exploring new vegetables, recipes, and cooking methods? For the average American eater, our CSA will provide a regular mix of familiar and new food. While we grow plenty of onions, garlic, carrots, and lettuce, we also enjoy introducing our CSA members to new crops. You may find yourself finding new ways to eat radishes or looking up recipes for Gunsho or Tokyo Bekana. Since we ourselves are impassioned cooks, we provide weekly recipe suggestions via e-mail and Facebook to our CSA, and we never give you a vegetable we ourselves haven't eaten and experimented with. All that being said, if you aren't open to adventurous eating, the farmers' market or local coops are probably better for you.
- Should I let a farmer decide my weekly grocery list? In our experience, the most underestimated facet for the new CSA member is surrendering control of the ole shopping cart. Throughout the season, we plan our seed orders and transplants around what we will provide our CSA, but the contents of the weekly boxes are subject to a variety of factors, including weather, crop performance, and what we've provided so far. There are times when you might think, "Cucumbers again?" (or "Apricots again!!"), and that is part of the CSA experience. We work hard to keep variety and enjoyment in the CSA as the highest priorities, but farming is an ever-changing art of improvisation. If you relish picking and choosing your ingredients in the grocery produce section, you will likely miss that control in your CSA. Sometimes, there is abundance of a single crop. Sometimes, our Shiso is killing it, in which case, our CSA members get to learn how to love shiso. Which brings us to our our final point...
- A CSA is an investment. You provide a lump sum in advance, and with that sum you take on the risk of farming alongside us. Farming is an extremely vulnerable enterprise; every year brings a new set of challenges and opportunities, from hail storms to grasshoppers to ample rain. With our CSA, we have witnessed years of insane abundance, and years of struggle and failure. Every year, we learn more and grow smarter.
When you sign onto a CSA, you sign onto more than a weekly box of veggies. You are voting with your wallet by supporting your local farms, through thick and thin. In return, we work as hard as we can to feed you and your family the most nutritional and beautiful produce.