CSA’s can be focused exclusively on vegetables or fruit, since many fruits are orchard-grown and require additional farming capacity that a smaller farm may not have. Many CSA’s, however, do offer both fruits and veggies in their shares, and many will also include artisanal items like honey, jam, salsa, meat, or dairy products that are made locally. When you purchase a share of a local farm, there will likely be a regular, weekly pick-up of your share full of seasonal crops, ready for harvest. Some CSA’s have multiple pick-up locations, or even offer delivery, while others have only one pick-up location— at the farm where the produce is grown.
Each share will vary in size depending on the program, but will feature multiple items that are in season; for example, cherries and peas in early summer, beets and apricots mid-July, peaches and corn in August, apples and squash later toward fall. CSA programs like the Simpleshare featured at the Petersen Family Farm are year-round, but most CSA’s run from early summer until fall. Since the Simpleshare is year-round, members pay for their share on a month-to-month basis, rather than one lump sum at the beginning of the season.
There are many benefits to being a member of a CSA. By joining such a program you:
Support local agriculture
Add fresh produce to your menu
Enjoy the variety of seasonal produce
Connect with members of your community
If a CSA is right for you, research the programs in your area and find the one that fits your needs and budget. You can find local CSA’s along the Wasatch Front at csautah.org. Don’t be afraid to call or email the contact listed for each farm. Programs vary widely, and it’s worth the time to find the right one for you and your family.