A CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, is a program that pairs a farmer with a customer who is buying a “share” of the farm. The farmer delivers their share once a week, or sometimes once a month. There are many ways in which farmers set up a CSA program, and you can find the one that fits you at the East Nashville Farmers Market! We have several farms who offer vegetable CSA’s: Delvin Farms, Athena’s Harvest, Quarter Spring Farm, Bloomsbury Farm, Lost Weekend Farm and Flying S Farms, and three farms who offer meat CSA’s: Tavalin Tails Farm, Wedge Oak Farm and Triple L Ranch.
Ten Reasons to Join a CSA
- Support a local farm and learn how your food is grown. We all have a doctor for our health, but what about a farmer? With a CSA you can have a personal relationship with your farmer and get to know who is growing your food and how. By buying a CSA, your money goes directly to your local economy, your personal farmer, and you are helping to keep the family farm alive while having access to healthy, nutritious food.
- Learn how to eat with the seasons You will eat leafy greens in the Spring and Fall, tomatoes and cucumbers in the Summer and root vegetables in the Winter. This is how we are meant to eat- with the seasons when produce is at its best and flavor is delectable.
- You will learn to eat a variety of food You may not know what to do with kale now, but if you join a CSA you’ll get the opportunity to learn to cook vegetables you’ve never tried.
- The Fruits and Vegetables are fresh Unlike fruits and vegetables in a grocery store that are harvested with shelf life in mind, the fruits and vegetables harvested for a CSA are hours old, at their ultimate peak of flavor and freshness.
- Committing to a CSA will force you to eat more fruits and vegetables By buying a CSA share, you will have access to fresh fruits and vegetables every week. You won’t want to waste those veggies, and you will end up with healthy eating!
- You’ll cook more Many CSA’s give their customers recipes for what is in the CSA box. You’ll learn to cook things you never knew about and you’ll feel accomplished! Cooking at home will save you money in the long run, too.
- A CSA saves you money Compared to buying the same amount/volume in the grocery store, joining a CSA will save you money. You’ll have to go to the grocery less, too.
- There are Vitamin and Flavor Benefits of CSA fruits and Vegetables When a fruit or vegetable is harvested, it immediately begins losing vitamin content. Having your veggies hours old ensures you are getting the most out of the nutritional content possible!
- Protect the Environment Buying from a local farm ensures that your food does not have to travel the average 1500 miles of grocery store food. You are lessening your carbon footprint by consuming food that is locally grown in a CSA. A small family farm is going to be as sustainable as they can in their growing methods and protect the land- after all, this is their livelihood and it is in their best interest to protect the environment!
- Get back to your roots We are now three generations removed from the family farm and our children do not know how food is grown. Participating in a CSA allows you to connect to the farmer, to visit the farm and get back to your roots! Many CSA’s allow you to volunteer on the farm, and others hold open houses to give you a tour.
You can find a CSA farmer at the East Nashville Farmers Market, every Wednesday form 3:30-7:00pm in Shelby Park. Stop by and meet your farmer!