Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a movement that began in the mid 1980s and aims to support local, family-owned farms.
As corporations have taken over the United States food industry, small-scale, family farms that once thrived have been driven out of business or forced to conform to the corporate agenda.
CSAs seek out members to purchase shares in exchange for farm fresh foods of all kinds. Members pay a lump sum to receive vegetables, eggs, fruits and even oysters on a weekly or bi-monthly basis.
Most CSAs in Whatcom County offer a full share or half share purchase based on how much food you need for the week.
Each week is like Christmas when you belong to a CSA. In the late spring you may find asparagus, fresh lettuce and herbs in your box. As the weeks go by, the presents will change along with the season. Summertime will bring spinach, strawberries, and broccoli and by harvest, the box will likely be filled with squash varieties, apples and onions.
The Office of Sustainability at Western offers students a chance to enjoy the benefits of farm fresh food with Viking Supported Agriculture (VSA) available twice a year: fall and summer.
VSA supports Growing Washington and Alm Hill Gardens of Everson, Wash., among others, to provide students with fresh produce each week, according to their website.
I have to admit that when I am cruising the produce department it is easy for me to avoid the organic section because, after all I am a college student, and organic is a tad pricey.
Joining the VSA this summer or a local CSA would be beneficial for many reasons.
You will contribute to the local economy, enjoy tasty farm fresh produce, and help support a movement that strives to help small-scale farms to continue to exist.
What do you do to help support local food?