No matter the array of choices we find in aisle after aisle at our local supermarkets, most of us wind up repeating the same dishes (and entire meals) because we’re busy, distracted, and hungry (and go-tos are the easiest options).
But there’s an alternative you may not be familiar with. How does “wholesome, extraordinarily fresh organic vegetables (or fruit, meat, eggs and more) every day” sound? Or how about homemade jam, fresh-baked bread, or honey—all with scarcely any effort?
This is where local CSA farms in or near your community come in. These community supported agriculture (CSA) farms offer a cooperative partnership in which local members assume a stake in the success of each seasonal crop. Each member family makes an advance payment that allows the farmer the “seed money” to start and grow the harvest.
The founding mission of Florida Farm Bureau insurance company is to support farmers and their families, and we are proud to uphold that commitment every day. Becoming a CSA member means helping a local farmer and strengthens your community as a whole.
If the CSA concept intrigues you, read on to see if it may be a good fit for your family.
Since CSA farms are local, the freshness of their items can’t be beat: that weekly box of food that you pick up likely holds produce that was picked the same day. This means you receive it at the peak of nutritional value and taste, and it will stay fresh longer. saving you money.
And maybe most important, your CSA farming partner may be able to customize to your preferences, if you ask, so you only get your favorites.
How to Choose the Right CSA
With its long growing season, Florida has an abundance of CSA farms throughout the state. Finding local CSA farms near you only takes a few minutes by checking the Florida CSA directory. This handy guide includes detailed product lists, mapped locations, operating hours, payment options, and more.
What should you look for when deciding on the right CSA farm? Here are a few things to consider:
- Chances are that you’ll be picking your order up at a set distribution point at the same time and place once a week. Does the distribution site and location fit your schedule? Is delivery service to your home available?
- When checking out websites, are you impressed with their selections? Is the site easy to maneuver? Do they have a thorough FAQ feature that answers your questions?
- Are customers welcome to visit the farm during set days and hours?
- Are you willing and able to pay the fee upfront? (Remember, you are agreeing to pay the cost of an entire season’s worth of foods you’ll be ordering.)
Signing up as a New CSA Member Is Easy
Although you may sign up with a CSA farm on any day, February 21-28 has been designated as 2021’s official sign up week to create awareness of the CSA model of community farming. This week, farmers will often offer special incentives on their websites or social media platforms to recruit new participants.
These CSA partnerships strengthen the local farming community all year long, allowing residents opportunities to support sustainable, organically grown food; and farmers can enjoy a reliable income forged with local residents.
To get a better idea of how this works in real life, check out the websites of a few Florida CSAs below.
- Frog Song Organics—Hawthorne
- Life Farms—Clearwater
- Verde Community Farm and Market—Homestead
- Sweetwater Organic Community Farm—Tampa
Support Farmers by Insuring with Farm Bureau Insurance
Buying a CSA is one way to support Florida farmers. Another way is to insure with Florida Farm Bureau insurance. To learn more about our auto, home, and life policies, use our Agent Finder to find a local agent near you.