Community Supported Agriculture

The best organic food is that which is grown closest to you. I'm not talking about Big Y. One of my coworkers belonged to a CSA all summer. She spoke about her vegetables alot. The abundance, the freshness, the quality...it was enough to make me miss my garden more than words could say.

Heirloom Harvest Farm in Westboro, with over 200 members, was the farm she belonged to. The cost is about $600 for the entire season. Although, you may split your share as long as one person picks up the entire share.Their growing season starts in early June and ends in late October/early November. There are many other participating farms in the Worcester area, find the one that is right for your family or business. Some farms offer lower subscriptions, shorter season options and different produce, including herbs and flowers.

From www.localharvest.org:

A CSA, (for Community Supported Agriculture) is a way for the food buying public to create a relationship with a farm and to receive a weekly basket of produce. By making a financial commitment to a farm, people become "members" (or "shareholders," or "subscribers") of the CSA. Most CSA farmers prefer that members pay for the season up-front, but some farmers will accept weekly or monthly payments. Some CSAs also require that members work a small number of hours on the farm during the growing season.

Why not join a CSA? Many farms are certified organic, you receive an abundance of produce and you support local farms. Taking your children to the farm is a learning experience. If you don't have a garden of your own it is a wonderful experience for them.

Worcester does offer the farmer's market on Main Street and at Foley Stadium in the summer. I have to be a critic and rant a little... the hours and locations are not great for many families, who would use them. If you ask me (which no one has) the city should move it closer to Elm Park and put one at Union Station. Creating a central location where they might see some action is a must. Think of the Saturday morning, when families could come use the park and discover fresh produce in abundance from local sources. Riders getting off the trains could grab what they needed in a pinch. Worcester needs to create places where people can walk, creating a bustling atmosphere... to get a coffee, pick up a few things, a gift, a tomato and be off. European and city neighborhoods are full of farmstands and coffeeshops. Let's hope Worcester thinks ahead for next summer, and spreads the vegetables around.

Why Locally Grown?
People worldwide are rediscovering the benefits of buying local food. It is fresher than anything in the supermarket and that means it is tastier and more nutritious. It is also good for your local economy--buying directly from family farmers helps them stay in business.

Check out the Local Harvest website for information and a listing of farms in your area.

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