Many of today’s parents have a ton of questions when it comes to providing the most nutritious food for their growing family. So what is the best way to get your fruits and veggies? Maybe you’ve heard of a CSA box? If you want to put healthier meals on the table, use these tips to find a CSA box program in Deerfield Township, Ohio.
What Does CSA Mean?
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The acronym CSA stands for community supported agriculture. With this program, you periodically get a box full of seasonal fruits and veggies directly from nearby farmers. Many CSAs are delivered right to your door, while other programs require that you pick up your box in person. Some feed two people, and some are geared toward feeding a family. Farmers may pick all of the fruits and veggies for you or let you pick your own. Each program differs, depending on who you’re ordering from.
Reasons to Join a CSA
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Now that you know what a CSA box is, here are five reasons why you might want to consider signing up for one:
1. You’ll support your local farmers: It’s no secret that many of our country’s agriculture producers are struggling right now. One of the best ways to show your support and help turn the tide on this unfortunate circumstance is to put your money where your mouth is — literally.
2. You’ll eat more fruits and veggies: When a box full of produce shows up on your doorstep each week, it’s kind of hard to come up with excuses why you shouldn’t gobble them up. If they’re not in the house, you’re less likely to eat them, and the opposite is true as well. When you open the fridge and a basket of bright red strawberries is staring back at you, how can you resist?
3. You get to experiment with new foods: Many of us get stuck in a produce rut, buying the same fruits and veggies over and over again. Having access to a CSA box filled with new produce is the ideal opportunity to try different recipes. Many farmers pick which items to include in the box, and without your CSA, you might never have discovered how much you love beets, for example.
4. You’ll get access to plenty of healthy foods: CSAs are full of freshly picked seasonal produce. When harvested at the peak of ripeness, food tastes better and is richer in nutrients. Many farmers offer organic foods grown without pesticides and are considered healthier options for your little ones.
5. You could save money: In many cases, your weekly or monthly CSA subscription is less costly than purchasing your fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. Buying directly from farmers cuts out the middleman and transportation costs, as long as you’re taking advantage of all the goodies you get each time.
Find a CSA in Your Neighborhood
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If you’re interested in subscribing to a CSA, you have a couple of options near Deerfield Township, including:
Tierra Verde Farms
This small family farm is listed on LocalHarvest.com and is located right in Deerfield. Its mission is to provide your family with great tasting, nutrient-dense foods. Get to know the farmers with a visit, and purchase grass-fed beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and eggs.
Barton Farms and Gardens
Also listed on Local Harvest’s website, Barton Farms and Gardens in nearby Randolph sells a variety of garden produce, including their specialty hot peppers and homemade jams. For your holiday feast, get a farm-raised Narragansett turkey. It’s the perfect centerpiece for your table.
Leigh Farm, LLC
A Google search of CSAs near Deerfield will point you to Leigh Farm in Aurora. These local producers grow some of the finest quality vegetables in the area. Their summer CSA program runs from June through October.
Is a CSA Right for Your Family?
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CSAs are not a good fit for everyone, so carefully consider the following before you decide to join or subscribe to one:
- Be flexible: Being in a CSA is a commitment, and you can’t just swoop in to pick up your produce whenever you want.
- Nature happens: Some seasons are not as generous as others, and this relationship comes with risk. From rainfall to insects, you might not see as much of your favorite items as you hoped.
- Surprises crop up: Some weeks, a surprise item will turn up that you’ve never heard of. There’s generally a terrific selection of staples, such as cucumbers, green beans, and potatoes, but kohlrabi might find its way into your box too.
- Habits change: Another consideration with a CSA box is that your eating habits will change based on what’s available. If you love munching on fresh salad greens through November, you’re out of luck and don’t expect tomatoes until summer.
- Dietary restrictions: If your family is on a strict meal plan, it may be difficult to adjust with a CSA. If your little one has allergies or someone in the family has tummy issues, it might be better to hand select your foods from the store.
- Quantity: A common reason subscribers leave a CSA program is that they either get too much or too little food to fulfill their family’s needs.
- Time constraints: Not all farms deliver their CSA boxes. Do you have time in your busy schedule to visit the farm each week? Don’t forget, you’ll still need to go to the store for other essentials, so factor in the time and effort it will take to get your box.
Well, there you have it! Creme de la Creme of Deerfield Township, Ohio, just provided you with all this handy info about CSAs and how to find one in your area. Is this a program you want to try for your family? Let us know if we missed anything or if you have any questions so we can add it to our guide.