Joining A CSA Sounds Great! How Do I Find One of These Amazing Things?
The site Local Harvest has a CSA locator tool that allows you to plug in your city or zip code and browse the options in your area. You can also turn to Google, naturally, and search for “CSA in [your location]” to see what pops up.
You should also ask around! Local organic grocery stores and health food restaurants may be able to recommend farm share options in your area, as well as vendors at local greenmarkets.
How Much Does A CSA Cost and What Do I Get?
Cost and quantity can vary greatly from CSA to CSA. You’ll want to make sure that you do your research and take those differences into consideration. Cost-wise, you can expect to pay somewhere in the range of $400-$600 a season; ask about payment plans and SNAP benefits if an upfront payment is not in the cards for your budget.
A full share can offer members anywhere from five to 20 pounds of vegetables each week, usually in three to seven varieties, and should be enough to feed a family of two to four. Many CSAs offer a half-share option, the definition of which can vary — sometimes a half-share means that you pick up every other week, sometimes it can mean that you pick up only half of the vegetables offered each week. Many CSAs also encourage and will help to facilitate the splitting of a share between two people or households. Ask about those options!
What To Know About Volunteering
Ah, but there’s a catch: Volunteering to man pick-up shifts is a nearly universal requirement of participation in a CSA. Duties can include unloading the delivery truck, signing members in, post-pick up clean-up and delivery of unclaimed vegetables for donating. Make sure you’re aware of the volunteer requirements of your CSA when you sign-up, and try to schedule your volunteer shift early in the season to avoid getting stuck with a shift that will be difficult for you to honor.