CSAs are alive and well in the Madison area! The FairShare CSA Coalition will host its annual open house at the Monona Terrace, Sunday March 23, from 1:00-4:00 PM. A “CSA” (Community-Supported Agriculture) is a community venture in which participants pledge their support for a farm’s food production efforts and, in turn, receive a share of the product in various installments. The CSA model has been extended to include (and support) other small grower/producer products including craft beer, coffee, and seafood.
At the open house, you will be able to chat with farmers and evaluate the different share options–often weekly or every-other-week deliveries of seasonal produce, eggs, cheese, honey or meat depending upon share plan and CSA farm. (And, many of these same folks participate in the area farmers’ markets).
In order to plan ahead, take a look at the Farm List to consider farms and share options that will best satisfy your appetite for produce and level of participation. Many of the farms have application forms that you can submit now.
In addition to supporting a local economy and savoring the fresh produce, there are some other incentives for students and staff. Many health plans furnish rebates for CSA participation. Shares can also be donated to assist families in our community in need. And, less we forget, there are opportunities to volunteer and to learn more with a job or internship at an area farm or FairShare event.