There’s nothing like eating a meal and having the satisfaction of knowing that many of the ingredients were grown locally. Fresh-grown tomatoes taste better, strawberries are sweeter, and cantaloupes are juicier. Some people choose to grow their own fruits and vegetables. For others, a CSA is a great option.
What is a CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture (though for some, it can mean Congregation Supported Agriculture). Your share fee is an up-front investment in your local producer, entitling you to a weekly share of whatever your local producer can provide to shareholders. It means that for the months of your CSA membership, you know exactly where that food comes from and how it is grown.
What to Expect:
Start by contacting your CSA of choice. Ask to make a visit to their farm, and come prepared with a list of questions you would like to ask. Once you choose to participate in a CSA, you will receive a weekly supply of produce. The produce received will be a variety of squashes, tomatoes, beans, onions, greens, etc. You’ll definitely want to peruse for recipes on new websites, in order to use everything you receive!
Why Participate in a CSA?
Many people weigh the value of growing their own food versus participating in a CSA. While growing your own food can be a bit more cost effective, there are some definite benefits to choosing a CSA. These producers have the means and experience to consistently produce high quality produce throughout the summer months. Many of them are also able to grow vegetables that might be a little more difficult to grow on your own.
How Much Will a CSA Membership Cost?
We have taken a few local CSA producers in the Llano Estacado region, and have shared their membership costs in order to give you a picture of how much each one costs. We have shared links to their accounts on LocalHarvest.org because that will give you their address, contact information, and link to their website if they have one.
- Pullen Produce Members of Pullen Produce’s CSA receive approximately 10 lbs of produce each week.
- Cost: $675 for full share (18 weeks), $350 for half share (16 weeks)
- Apple Country Orchard Apple Country Orchard is a well known local-producer.
- Cost: $500/year for full share, $325/year for half share
- The Grub Farm This is a program of the South Plains Food Bank. Their GRUB Farm is in part a way to supplement their food bank program and is a way to pay the youth who work their farms during the summer.
- Cost: $550/year for full share, $325/year for half share
- Crazy Hoe Farms Crazy Hoe Farms is well known in the Llano Estacado for their production and techniques. They have one of the most well-known aquaponics systems around.
- Cost: $600/year for full share; $325/year for half share
- From the Garden This is a delivery service of speciality, in season crops. They create baskets for customers, filled with a wide range of locally-grown produce.
- Cost: $22/basket
- Porter Community Farm From all appearances on LocalHarvest.org, this CSA is actually available year round (most CSA’s follow the traditional growing season and offer produce throughout late spring and early fall).
- Cost: $940 for the entire year (possible discount of $40 for paying up front)
- JBT Sustainable Ag We’re a bit partial to this one because this is Ogallala Commons Community Apprentice Justin Trammell. We’re excited for Justin to begin his journey producing locally-grown produce for the Llano Estacado!
- Cost: $450/18 wks for Veggie Share; $525/18 wks for Veggie/Egg share; $750/18 wks for Veggie/Egg/Chicken Share
- Tierra Linda Natural Farm Tierra Linda is one of the best sources for locally raised pork. They also carry produce You have the option to purchase shares in either pork or produce.
- Cost: $100/quarter share hogs; $650/20 wk full share; $350/10 wk early season; $400/10 wk late season.
Have you participated in a CSA? Share about your experience in the comments below!