Six Reasons to Love a CSA (They’re More than Just Kale!)

February 11th, 2008

Some Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) groups have a reputation for providing their members with little more than an overabundance of kale, chard, and root vegetables with a few sprigs of parsley thrown in. CSAs, as you may know, are collectives formed to purchase a farmer’s or a group of farmers’ crops. Members share in the bounty (or the loss) and the farmers are guaranteed a set price for their crops.

CSA Pick-up Point

While it’s true that through my recent CSA experience, I have learned I prefer chard to kale, the recent growth in the “buy local” movement and the growing popularity of CSAs means that if you join one, you’re likely to enjoy a far broader range of foods than in years past.

Following are six reasons to love a CSA (Part 1 of 2 Posts on CSAs)

1. Variety – It’s easy to fall into a rut at the market, picking the same familiar veggies and fruits every week. Through a CSA, you may be exposed to celeriac, black radish, salsify, purple top turnips, passionfruit, persimmon, kabocha squash, Jerusalem artichokes, sweet white turnips, and Big “Florida-type” avocados, in addition to those CSA stand-bys, chard and kale! Some CSAs also provide fantastic farm fresh cheese and wonderful varieties of home-baked bread.

2. Commitment – Since you are required to pre-pay for your CSA membership, you’ll likely make it a point to get your CSA share every week. C’mon, admit it. How many times have you resorted to processed or convenience food because you simply hadn’t made it to the market for something fresh?

3. Inspiration – With the abundance of new foods to experiment with, odds are you’ll have to dust off that old cookbook and take a look at some recipes for the unfamiliar produce in your share. Cooking and discovering new recipes are all part of the CSA adventure! (Check out this blog with recipes matched to shares from the Spiritual Food for the New Millenium CSA).

4. Family Learning – My kindergartner is learning about where food really comes from, how delicious fresh organic and biodynamic food tastes, and even how to carefully measure produce on the scales. As part of our volunteer commitment to our CSA, he’s also learned how to bag flax seeds and practiced counting and sorting more than 100 bags.

5. Health – Between the variety of food, the desire to cook more healthy meals at home, and the forcing function of receiving a pre-paid weekly CSA share, odds are your regular diet will become much healthier.

6. Fun – I love visiting the CSA with my children. It is a fun, relaxed escape from the surrounding urban area.

And of course, the most important reason to join a CSA is to help the environment by supporting local, organic and biodynamic farmers.

Please check out this post explaining what’s behind the biodynamic food in some CSAs, and come back next Monday for the second part in this series, which will discuss how to choose a CSA that’s right for you.

To find a CSA near you, visit

— Lynn

Copyright 2008 OrganicMania

8 Responses to “Six Reasons to Love a CSA (They’re More than Just Kale!)”

  1. Dannie on February 11, 2008 12:48 pm

    Hi Lynn,

    I have never heard of this before, so I decided to give it a look. Always something new to learn within my community. This would be a great topic to add to my community area on one of the other blogs I write for – Definitely something many families might not be aware of and would love to participate in if they have it.

    Thanks for opening my eyes.


    You’re so welcome, Dannie! Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words! — Lynn

  2. marguerite manteau-rao on February 11, 2008 12:53 pm

    Agree, Lynn. A while back,I did subscribe to a weekly delivery of organically farmed vegetables, and I remember enjoying the variety. I just did not renew, and have been going to the farmers’ market. You are making me reconsider . . .

    Ah, well if you do join a CSA, try to find a biodynamic one. You will be in for a special treat. The produce is out of this world! Thanks for stopping by, Marguerite! — Lynn

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    […] CSA’s and farmers’ markets […]

  4. Organic and Green Mom Blog | Finding Time for Gratitude Amidst the Chaos of Everyday Life at Organic Mania on November 2, 2008 5:24 am

    […] that’s why one of my favorite green things (back to the Carnival theme!) is to steal away to my CSA. I love the simplicity of the place. The clean garage stocked with bins full to overflowing of […]

  5. Organic and Green Mom Blog | Wednesdays at the CSA: Going Local & Seasonal for Good at Organic Mania on August 19, 2009 1:24 pm

    […] This winter? I’ll stick with purple potatoes, nuts, and other foods we can eat seasonally.  Of course, it’s a lot easier to make that type of commitment now in the heat of summer than in the cold of winter.  I just have to remember that even in winter CSAs are More than Just Kale. […]

  6.   Why Choose a CSA? by She Wants It All on April 25, 2010 10:46 am

    […] Read this blog post “Six Reasons to Love a CSA” […]

  7. Organic and Green Mom Blog | Wednesdays at the CSA: Those Perfect Biodynamic Grapes! They’re Ugly! at Organic Mania on October 6, 2010 7:51 pm

    […] Wednesdays are my favorite day of the week, because it’s “CSA Day.”  The day when I pick up our weekly share of biodynamic surprises. We get whatever the farmers were able to harvest, and the abundance and variety is just one of the many special parts of belonging to our CSA. […]

  8. Felicitari on January 12, 2012 1:32 pm

    Verry useful. I was looking over the internet for this.

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