Why Real CSAs Matter

Knowing where your food comes from – and getting to know your farmer – is a critical step in knowing what’s IN your food. Once you’ve decided to take the plunge and sign up for a CSA, how do you know who’s real? Success breeds competition and sometimes that competition is fudging it. Some of those CSAs you’re looking at are not REAL CSAs.

Allan Balliett, long time CSA farmer at Fresh and Local CSA, wrote to tell us:

I’m seeing way too much tolerance in the Food Movement for food writers who want to re-brand this important social movement as “Just about Food,” I thought it would be nice to introduce a person who understands that we have to use our food dollars to build a better food system values CSA.

Source: Denise Graveline, Vegetables for Breakfast

Denise Graveline, a communications consultant in Washington DC, has been one of the most valued members of my DC-metro area CSA for the past several years. She started a blog (Vegetables for Breakfast) several years back and reports accurately on the CSA experience. Such cheer leading is very valuable to a farmer as he works the land from before dawn until after dark from the first of March to the middle of November each CSA season.

As a long time CSA farmer I just have to tell you, there are few food programs that have the potential to do as much for the Future of Food as the does the original grass root CSA movement.

If you have a fake CSA in your area – fake CSAs are businesses that deliver vegetables from “anywhere,” and have no farm and no farmer but compete for the dollars communities would be spending to support real farms through real CSA memberships – you be sure by checking here.

Denise Graveline, who advises CSA subscribers overrun with vegetables and those who care about local food, gives us her 7 best reasons for subscribing to a CSA:

  • Freshness is a revelation in your mouth.
  • Vegetable roulette will make you a better eater and a better cook.
  • Eating seasonally feels right.
  • Knowing about my food’s origins matters.
  • Helping make my local food happen is a bonus.
  • It’s in the hood.
  • I get more than veg.

Be sure to visit her site and get all the details!

More about Farmer Allan:

Allan Balliett has been working with the CSA Movement since the mid-90s. He is the farmer at Fresh and Local CSA, a biodynamically managed CSA that has been supporting fans of nutrient dense local foods in the DC-metro area for nearly 10 years. Allan is the founder of Biodynamics Now! The International Biodynamic Food and Farming Discussion Group and of The Biodynamics Now! Restorative Nutrition and Investigative Farming Podcast.

Either of these CSA outreach programs designed to increase farmers and consumers awareness of the importance of food quality and how it is achieved can be subscribed to at www.bdnow.org.

Allan eats low on the food chain in Shepherdstown, WV.