Summer CSA shares are now available! You may wonder, what exactly does this mean? CSA or Community Supported Agriculture is a fairly recent phenomenon here in the United States. While some sources say the origins of CSA date back to the mid-1960s in Japan when a group of women concerned with the use of pesticides and an increase in processed and imported foods started the first “teikei” (which translates to “food with the farmer’s face”), others will argue that they began in western Europe, specifically Holland, Switzerland, and Germany, as a result of the biodynamic agricultural tradition and the teachings of Rudolph Steiner. Whatever its’ origins, the first two CSAs formed simultaneously but independently in the United States in 1986 at Indian Line Farm in Massachusetts and Temple-Wilton Community Farm in New Hampshire. Today, over 12,000 CSAs exist in the United States alone.
But what exactly is a CSA? A CSA is a food model that directly connects the producer and consumer within a food system. Consumers subscribe to the harvest of a certain farm by purchasing a “share” in this farm, and in return the farm supplies the consumer with a diverse array of nutritious and delicious vegetables on a weekly basis throughout the growing season. While each farm structures its’ CSA differently - some offering weekly, bi-weekly, or half shares; some offering the option to additionally purchase fruit shares, flower shares, egg shares, or meat shares; one thing remains true for all CSAs - it is an opportunity to directly connect with your farmer and get the freshest, locally produced vegetables available.
Our CSA at Ultreia offers an interactive opportunity to try new vegetables and to get to know who is producing your food. This will be our second summer CSA season, and we will be offering half and full shares of vegetables. The vegetables will be picked the day before pick-up (or delivery) and recipes and cooking ideas will be shared with each member on a weekly basis. This season, we will be growing over 100 varieties of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. We grow all open-pollinated or heirloom varieties from organic seeds. It is a chance to share in the rewards and, conversely, inherent risks of farming. We look forward to sharing our enthusiasm for food, farming, and health of our bodies and earth through this community based approach.