Do the winter days have you feeling a little sluggish or hemmed in? A great way to freshen up your routine and do something good for yourself and your family (with much less work than you think) is to partner with a local CSA.
Not familiar with the CSA concept of farming yet? You’re in for a treat that just may change the way you feed your family.
Jot this on your calendar: February 21-28 is National CSA Sign-Up Week—and become part of a community supported agriculture (CSA) initiative. CSAs ensure a selection of fresh organic fruits, vegetables and goodies make their way to you each week, all on your own flexible schedule.
What Is a CSA?
A CSA is a cooperative relationship between a local farmer and community members, in which these participants have a financial stake in the success of each seasonal crop. If weather and other conditions are accommodating and the crop is a success, it’s a win-win. If conditions are more challenging and the crop yields are lower, each party assumes the same risk.
This foundation allows community members a chance to make an investment in the crop. By buying directly from the farmer with an advance payment, the buyer provides the “seed money” for the farmer to start and grow the harvest.
Many farms also offer extras like fresh eggs, meats, home-canned goods, freshly baked bread, cut flowers, honey, and a variety of other specialties.
Find a CSA Near You
Finding local CSA farms near you is easy! Just take a few moments to check the Arkansas CSA Directory. This handy guide includes mapped locations, operating hours, months of operation, delivery and payment options, and detailed product lists offered at each CSA farm.
Why the Feb. 28 Sign-Up Date Is Important
Community residents may sign up to partner with a CSA farm at any time. However, the “official” sign-up week of February 21-28 was chosen to create awareness about the program and how it works. This encourages farmers to offer special incentives via their websites or social media on that week to recruit new partners.
If you support the idea of eating local—and regularly enjoying sustainable, organically grown food—consider trying out a CSA partnership.
Check It Out
To get a better idea of how CSAs work, visit the websites of a few of these Arkansas farms below.
- Whitton Farms—Tyronza
- Age Old Agriculture—Cotter
- Rattle’s Garden—Vilonia
- Dripping Springs Garden—Vilonia