Heads up, veggie lovers: Feb. 24 is the second annual “CSA Day” — an unofficial day to boost community-supported agriculture. Many farmers nationwide will provide discounts and offers encouraging customers to sign up for their bounty; others simply urge customers to use the day to enroll. With a CSA model, members pay for a season’s worth of produce in advance. Every week, clients receive a new box of fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, and more.
Farmers like Chris Kurth from Sudbury’s Siena Farms say that CSA memberships are a key way to heighten visibility for farms in general, helping to sustain their business all year long.
“I appreciate the nationwide effort to bring extra attention to the work that CSA farms are doing all over the country — our CSA is in many ways the heart of our business as a farm, both financially and experientially for us as farmers. We never, ever would have made it through the last 20 years of growth and business development without the CSA model, and our particular community of CSA members, supporting Siena Farms,” he says.
The only downside? You can’t always control what you get. If there’s plenty of kale in stock, well, you’d better learn a good soup recipe. Some farms hope to help with this by offering tailored programs. This year, for instance, Concord’s Saltbox Farm is giving customers more control over their produce by offering “you choose” and “you pick” options. Visit the farm to select your harvest based on what’s available that week, and pick your own green beans, cherries, tomatoes, and more while you’re there. The weekly CSA costs $800 from mid-June until November.
Visit www.csaday.info for a directory of more participating farms and membership options, including suburban Boston staples like Canton’s Pakeen Farm and Lincoln’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary.