If you’re strapped for time and cash (who isn’t these days), but you’d still like to eat organic and support your local farmers, check out farm-share opportunities near you.
The concept of farm share came over to the USA in the 1980s from Europe and is called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). It has really grown popular in the last decade as more and more people realise the importance of consuming fresh and preferably organic produce.
No Longer a Secret Society
For decades, farmers have shared their crops and costs with co-op members. Buying direct from the farm cuts the cost of middle men and limits your food’s time from being picked to being enjoyed. Most farms have limits to the number of shares they can offer, so you will want to do your search as early in the year as possible.
It’s a great idea to support the smaller, local farms that can generate a reliable monthly or weekly income. The consumer stands to gain in the form of fresh produce delivered to them and saving them time consuming trips to the local market. Whether you get your share delivered right to your home or somewhere close-by, chances are that you will save time from your regular grocery store trip.
Eat Fresh in the Big City
Farm shares bring locally grown organic produce to your doorstep at reasonable prices. You may also check with the supplying farm about whether they offer eggs, milk or cheese alongside the regular produce that you get. If they do, it would be an added bonus to you and add to your healthy diet.
Another motivating factor for many to join a farm share is the element of pleasant surprise when you open your delivered box of food. It is because although the farmers will have a timely schedule about certain produce, it will depend on what is ready for the pickings in those farms. The resulting ‘mix and match’ situation will present you with opportunities to cook new or different dishes that you might not have planned earlier. After all, ‘variety is the spice of life’ as they say.
Living in the big cities or its suburbs, many of us have lost touch with the kind of life lived in the countryside. Joining a farm share will give you a connection to the country out there and the benefit of its organically produced food, while trying to wade through your concrete and glass ‘jungle’. Who knows, your kids might enjoy a trip out to one of these farms that’ll bring them closer to more ‘earthly’ things than their PlayStations!
As part of a farm’s co-op, you take responsibility for the success of the crop. This may not mean that you’ll be plowing the fields, but you will lose if nature destroys the vegetation. Co-ops are very fundamental organizations that may not be staffed as well as a chain market. So, also beware that speedy delivery and top notch customer service may not be their first priority.
In order to find farm share opportunities near you, you can do a simple internet search for “buy local farm share Chicago,” (for example).
Gina Laverde is a Chicago-based writer and researcher whose expertise in natural health stems from her experiences with Body Ecology Diet, Blood Type Diet and homeopathic remedies. Gina believes that we’re in the midst of a serious world health crisis, and that the key to survival lies within our guts.