Whether your kids love trying new fruits and vegetables every chance they get or you’re struggling to find ways to inspire picky eaters to try new things, you’ll want to look into CSA boxes. These amazing services let you get up close and personal with local farms. Fresh, nutritious, tasty produce and more take your family mealtime to the next level, all while saving you the stress of combing through grocery store shelves to find the products you want.
Still, if you’re new to the concept of CSA boxes, the idea can feel a little overwhelming. That’s why our center for child care in Frisco, TX put together this guide to finding the perfect CSA box close to home. Learn what to expect, how to choose the right farm for you, and where to search for CSA boxes in our area.
What Is a CSA?
The letters CSA stand for Community Supported Agriculture. You can think of CSAs as a lot like your favorite subscription services for movies or music, only for delicious fruits, veggies, meats, and more. You purchase shares from a local farmer, typically on a week-by-week or seasonal basis, then get a box of wholesome goodies delivered or available to pick up at a designated time.
Farmers generally pick what produce goes into a share every week. That said, if you want to stop by every week and pick what you’ll get in a given box, you can find some CSAs that operate “market-style.” In fact, you’ll find a wide range of CSAs out there, so you can easily find one that fits with your family’s needs and dietary habits.
The Many Benefits of Joining a CSA
Your family will reap an abundance of benefits by joining a CSA. If you’re looking for a way to get the kiddos more interested in tasting fruits and vegetables or just get overall more in touch with where their food comes from, a CSA is the way to go. Just a few benefits of CSAs include:
Trying New Products
Your CSA box offers a weekly chance to try out new foods. While you might find that a bit scary if your kids are picky eaters, the excitement that comes with a new box just might be the inspiration your family needs to sample new flavors. You never know exactly what you’ll get, so you can turn your weekly CSA delivery into a culinary adventure the whole family can share. Pro-tip: If you get something you don’t recognize, reach out to your farm. Farmers are often excited to share ideas for how to use a particular vegetable.
Yes, purchasing produce with a CSA does generally start out more expensive than buying regular produce from a supermarket would. However, if you’re frequently buying organic items or shopping at health stores or farmers markets, joining a CSA can actually help you cut down on your overall shopping costs.
Delicious, Nutritious Food
Farmers let produce they’ll put in a CSA box ripen before harvesting. The result? The best-tasting produce out there. Freshly picked produce is even more nutritious than produce that sits on shelves in the store, as produce can lose nutritional value during transport and storage. On the other hand, CSAs usually harvest produce the day you get it, so you won’t lose any nutrients.
Finding a CSA in Your Local Area
Searching LocalHarvest using your zip code offers an easy way to find CSAs in your local area. You’ll find a variety of options to Frisco, so search what’s out there to find the best fit for your family.
One popular option is Comeback Creek Farm. The small family farm has a drop-off right in Frisco, and they specialize in high-quality, organically grown produce your own family is sure to love.
Tonkawa Farm is another great local choice. With home delivery available in the Dallas-Fort Worth and surrounding area, Tonkawa Farm offers a super convenient way to enjoy a CSA box. They even offer options for vegetables only, fruits only, beef only, chicken only, and pork only shares as well as and any combination of those, so you’re sure to find a great fit for your family’s needs.
How Do You Pick the Right CSA for Your Family?
Once you find a few options you like for CSAs in the Frisco region, it’s time to choose a CSA that fits in with what your family needs. You’ll want to consider a few different factors to choose a CSA that works for you, such as:
- Convenience: Make sure you have time in your schedule to go pick up your CSA box at the right time. Check the pickup location and time frame to see if you’re committing to something you can actually do.
- Work commitment: Some CSAs will require consumers to work on the farm for a certain number of hours. While this offers a wonderful opportunity for some families, it can create a hassle and inconvenience for others. It’s a matter of personal preference, so carefully consider whether or not you want to delve into working on the farm in a way that fits your schedule.
- Product quantity: Find out exactly what you’ll get each pickup from a share. If you think a full share will get you too much food, you can look into options for buying half shares. You can also consider splitting a weekly share with a friend or neighbor.
- Product selection: Check the list of seasonal products before you sign up. You’ll want to see if the farm you’re considering actually grows food your kids will eat! While some new items can inspire you to get creative in the kitchen, you’ll want to strike a balance between trying new foods and letting whole boxes go to waste.
- Communication channels: Can you contact the farm via a website, Facebook page, or email? Establishing good communication is useful in case you run into unexpected personal or weather delays with a pickup or delivery.
That wraps up Crème de la Crème of Frisco’s guide to finding local CSA boxes. Does your family have a favorite CSA in the Frisco region that we didn’t mention? Drop us a line so we can add your go-to farm!