For most of my life, I thought that organic food was for rich suckers. Today I’m writing about it on a cheap food site. What changed? I found out about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. Here’s how they work.
CSA members pay an average of $400-$450 per year. In exchange, they pick up a weekly load of fresh produce large enough to feed a family of 2-3. Over a 22 week growing season, that works out to under $20 a week, no more than you’d be spending on factory farm produce from the grocery store. But these fruits and vegetables are fresh, local, and sustainably grown. Your money supports struggling family farms in the New York area. And if the price tag is still too high, most CSA’s have installment pay plans, some charge on a sliding scale, and many accept food stamps.
There are CSA’s all over NYC’s five boroughs, including in typically underserved, low-income neighborhoods. And for most, January is the time for new members to apply. To get more info and find the nearest CSA to you, check out Just Food, a CSA advocacy organization.