“Our deep respect for the land and its harvest is the legacy of generations of farmers who put food on our tables,preserved our landscape and inspired us with a powerful work ethic.” —James H. Douglas, Jr.
It’s no secret Nature’s Pathways has a real love for, and strong connection to, our community — its small businesses, local establishments and the people who make it so vibrant and happy. Among some of our favorite tradesmen and women are the local farmers who provide us with nutrient dense and delicious nourishment in the form of homegrown produce.
“Farm-to-table” has become all the buzz in the restaurant industry, but there’s an even more direct (and fun!) way to appreciate the art of the local farmer: participating in farm share programs, also known as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).
What’s a CSA?
According to the FairShare CSA Coalition based in Madison, “(Community Supported Agriculture) is a partnership between farms and consumers that keeps independent businesses thriving, helps families eat seasonal, local produce, and charges farmers and consumers with the responsibility of building a strong, equitable food system.”
Members of the community subscribe to a local farm’s CSA program in the beginning of the growing season. In essence, one is buying a share of the farm. In Wisconsin, this typically starts in May and the season ends in mid-October. During a “subscription,” members receive weekly boxes of everything from produce, fruits, cheeses, eggs, meats, poultry, flowers and herbs. Each program is different and identifies its farm’s harvest. Either an established point of pickup or a delivery method will be distinguished.
A few of our favorite perks of joining a CSA farm share program include:
- Eating seasonally with produce being at its freshest point, often harvested same day
- Forming relationships with local farmers, knowing where our food is coming from
- Environmentally friendly
- Supporting an integral part of our community
This is just the beginning!
There’s so much more to say about CSAs and all they offer our community. The coming issues of Nature’s Pathways will include the difference between organic and nonorganic produce, a list of local farms and the farmer’s markets they participate in, perspectives from both farms and farm share program members and more!
We need your help!
Nature’s Pathways wants to highlight area farms that offer farm share programs to share the wealth of nourishment with our readers!