Are you looking for a way to integrate healthy fruits and vegetables into your family’s diet? Then it may be time to consider joining a CSA box membership in the Cedar Park, Texas, area. These subscription packages include locally and often organically grown produce for you and your family to enjoy with your weekly meals. Keep reading to discover what a CSA box is and how you can find one that’s right for you today.
What Is a CSA and How Does It Work?
Via Flickr by AndyRobertsPhotos
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. which refers to a program where you buy shares of a local farm’s crops to support their operation and get fresh vegetables, fruits, and other goods for yourself. When you sign up for a CSA, you are typically buying into a weekly membership or monthly subscription. The farm commits to providing a specific number of CSA boxes with fruits, veggies, and other farm goods to the public each week or month. In return for your membership, you are guaranteed one of these produce boxes each week or month.
While it’s become more and more popular over the last few years, this beneficial way of promoting local farm-fresh goods has been around for more than 25 years and is a great option for the local residents to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables directly from a community farm.
Advantages of Joining a CSA
There are several advantages to joining a monthly CSA subscription, including:
- Eating fresh food that is grown or sourced locally in your area.
- Letting children eat new fruits and vegetables that may not be available at the grocery store.
- Being able to visit a local farm at least once a season so kids can see where and how their food is grown.
- Instilling healthy eating habits at a young age.
- Trying new recipes and ingredients to expand your family’s appetites.
- Developing relationships with area farmers to support the local economy.
How to Find a CSA in Your Area
If you’re interested in signing up for a CSA, use these tips to get started:
- Search online. Simply go to sites like Localharvest.org, which houses a directory of CSAs and similar programs around the U.S.
- Ask at your local farmers market. If you typically get your produce and goods from the farmers market, consider chatting with the vendors there to see if they sponsor a CSA program. If they don’t, they may know of someone who does.
- Check the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s site. This government agency hosts an online directory, too. Just type in your location, and you get access to available CSAs and local farms to contact about buying produce and goods directly.
Local CSAs Near Cedar Park, Texas
You can also try one of the CSAs listed below.
Farmhouse Delivery provides more than fresh fruits and vegetables to the Cedar Park community. All the items in the CSA boxes are from farms that use organic and sustainable practices, so you’re supporting healthy and eco-friendly local businesses. Another added bonus is that they deliver directly to your front door, either on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, depending on what works best for your family.
You can choose from three different boxes that offer produce, local meat, groceries, and more, with options like:
- Produce boxes, which contain seasonal and organic fruits and vegetables.
- Meal kit subscriptions, which are a convenient way to make wholesome and nutritious meals for your family.
- Rancher boxes that offer locally sourced and pasture-raised meat, like chicken, beef, and pork.
Gray Gardens, located about 30 miles from Cedar Park in Buda, Texas, has a variety of seasonal produce available for their CSA program. Each week, they send an email to their CSA subscription members. This email includes a complete list of all of the produce contained in that week’s CSA box, along with a link for you to conveniently pay online. You can then choose how many shares you’d like to reserve according to your own family’s grocery needs.
Johnson’s Backyard Garden
With a CSA subscription to Johnson’s Backyard Garden, about 30 miles from Cedar Park, you receive much more than a box of crisp green vegetables or sweet seasonal fruits. Along with their weekly or bi-weekly boxes of certified organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs, you will also receive the following:
- Invitations to member events, such as farm workshops, gardening and cooking classes, U-pick events, and annual farm open houses.
- A weekly newsletter that includes pictures, recipes, and more helpful information on how to use and store your produce, along with other area farm events in the local Austin farming community.
- Discounts on bulk-item purchases such as heirloom tomatoes or seasonal organic citrus only available for CSA members.
- Free access to their online recipe database, cooking and storage tips, and valuable member forums.
- Optional add-ons that include free-range eggs, fair-trade coffee, and other specially selected food from area farmers.
Is a CSA the Right Choice for You and Your Family?
When trying to decide if joining a CSA membership is right for your family, be sure to take the following considerations in mind:
Being in a CSA is a commitment, not only for you but also for your local farmer. You need to be committed to paying for and using your weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly CSA box.
One of the most valuable benefits of a CSA is the opportunity of trying new fresh foods you may not have tasted before. While most CSA boxes contain typical fruits and vegetables like cucumbers, lettuce, apples, and more, there may also be a variety of different foods like kohlrabi, mini-eggplant, or spicy Anaheim peppers included as well.
If your family is on a strict dietary plan, then a CSA box may not be best suited to you. For example, starchy vegetables such as potatoes, peas, and butternut squash are not recommended for those who are required to follow a low carbohydrate diet.
Now that Crème de la Crème of Cedar Park has given you valuable information on CSA boxes in the area, have you decided to take the leap and subscribe to one today? Are you already a member of a CSA subscription? If so, we’d love to hear about it. Simply contact us, and we’ll be happy to add it to our list above.