We just completed our annual sign up for one of a number of area CSAs – Community Supported Agriculture. We are very blessed to live in a region that offers great options on organized, bundled weekly or biweekly boxed of fresh, local produce and food products. Picking up these boxes of foodie treasures makes me giddy as I drive home dreaming up some of the many ways we can incorporate these delicious ingredients into our meals and those meals we provide our guests. Similarly our treks in the summer and fall up to the Bayfield Orchards brings joy whether picked raspberries, blueberries or apples – all coming from the fields and trees of our good friends and neighbors.
What is a CSA? From Wikipedia: “Community-supported agriculture (CSA; sometimes known as community-shared agriculture) is an alternative, locally-based economic model of agriculture and food distribution. A CSA also refers to a particular network or association of individuals who have pledged to support one or more local farms, with growers and consumers sharing the risks and benefits of food production. CSA members or subscribers pay at the onset of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest; once harvesting begins, they receive weekly shares of vegetables and fruit, in a vegetable box scheme. Many CSAs also sometimes include herbs, cut flowers, honey, eggs, dairy products and meat. In theory a CSA can provide any product to its members, although the majority of CSA tend to provide produce and other comestibles. Some CSAs provide for contributions of labor in lieu of a portion of subscription costs.”
We suggest a checking out Local Harvest for more information on the benefits of patronizing CSA’s.
Our decision to support our local farmers and producers comes from both a desire to support our local economy (agritourism is a big deal in the Chequeamegon Bay!). But our own health and quality of food prepared in our kitchen is equally as important. We know the growers & producers. We’ve seen many of their operations. We have confidence that we are getting some of the healthiest and highest quality produce and products we can. The decision is heart-felt driven by our desire to build a business based on Sustainable Tourism.
Looking to find CSA’s in your area. You will find a great search function at Local Harvest as well as a ton of additional information.
photo credit: Photo from Acorn Creek Farm, Tomah, WI