The C in CSA stand for community. When I say community I have in my heart and mind the group of people who make up the farms and artisans I know from our farm stand, farmers market and of course our customers. It is not a soft, out of focus image, it is quite real and specific. The thing that makes it feel like community is our support and care for one another. Support is what the S in CSA stand for.
What I want our customers to know is that while we talk a lot about you supporting us, there is more to the word than that. You should know about the generous, sharing, network of local farms. More and more your local farm stand carries other local products. We are buying from each other, promoting each other, sharing equipment, lessons learned and coordinating distribution. Our farm stand and many others, are like mini farmers markets because of all the products we carry. Partly because that’s what customers have asked for but also because we are excited and believe in what others are doing in agriculture locally. Agriculture is what the A in CSA stands for.
When you join a CSA, shop at local farm stands or farmers markets - you join a greater web of community, support and connection.
I am on the board of Seacoast Eat Local, a local non profit that supports our community. One of the ways SEL supports farmers is through the seacoast winter farmers markets. From a farmers perspective, how a market is managed is very important. It costs us money to attend markets, fees, labor etc.. so having the right mix of vendors and marketing to bring enough people in is critical. They do a great job running markets making them financially viable for farms. For customers SEL is an incredible resource. They have compiled a listing of local farms and what they offer. Click here for their list of local CSAs. Their free local food guide Seacoast Harvest is available online and at many brick and mortar locations on the seacoast. Most importantly, I think, SEL makes it possible for farms to accept SNAP/EBT (previously known as food stamps) at farmers markets, farm stands and through the SAMM Van. They are actively expanding our community and making sure no one is left out of the local food movement. We all deserve real, delicious, nourishing food.