Community Supported Agriculture or CSAs are farms that offer consumers regular (usually weekly) deliveries of locally-grown farm products during the summer and fall harvest season. Consumers pay farmers an advance payment of a subscription or a membership fee, with the cost about $25-30 a week depending on the size of the “share”. When you join a CSA, your membership fees help the farmers with up front seasonal planning and preparation costs. The typical CSA season is from June through October, with options sometimes available to extend into additional weeks.
As the harvest season progresses you visit the farm or a pickup site and receive a weekly basket or bag of fresh produce, and often other local products such as cheese, eggs, bread and meats are included.
The biggest benefit to consumers is buying from a local farm means you know exactly where your food is coming from and that your food money stays local and helps your community. You will meet your local farmers and your children will have a much better understanding of how food is grown and why it’s important to keep food production local.
To find a CSA in your community, visit the NH Farm Products Map: a statewide interactive consumer guide to locating New Hampshire farm products.
The map provides consumers:
- Farm location and contact information
- How to find up to date info from farms on social media (links to website, social media, etc.)
- Payment options and alternative purchasing locations
- Purchasing incentive/food access programs implemented by the farm (ie:SNAP/Food Stamps)
- Farm grown products available for sale
You may also visit the NH Department of Agriculture website. These New Hampshire farms offer membership packages or shares, of weekly seasonal produce and other products that can be picked up at the farm. There are about 36 CSAs in New Hampshire offering fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables.
Once you start receiving fresh locally grown produce, you can try new heathy recipes for your family. Try some of these nutritious low cost recipes!