Conventional wisdom advises that habits are ingrained after 21 days of repetition. If that theory holds true, then the eat~play~shop local habit requires time and effort to develop. Each month I’ll be sharing “21 Days” of some event, place or organization in the Triangle, enabling (and I mean that in the most positive sense possible) your inner Localista to come out and join us. This month it’s all about local food, farmers markets and farms.
Community supported agriculture is a partnership between a farmer and a community of supporters. At the beginning of a growing season, members purchase a share of the farm’s production. The farmer uses funds from the purchased shares to cover the cost of seeds, equipment, labor and maintenance. CSA members who make this commitment, to support the farm through the growing season, reap the rewards and bounty. This mutually supportive relationship helps create an economically stable farm operation and members are assured the highest quality produce. In return, farmers are assured a reliable market for a variety of crops.
There’s something about a CSA box filled with produce still coated in a layer of dirt that I find appealing. Picking up a potato and brushing away bits of soil leaves me feeling as though that vegetable was just plucked from the ground moments ago and now lies in my hand near the peak of freshness, almost as if I had grown and harvested it myself. Each CSA pick up day I was eager to see what my box held and would immediately begin planning the week’s meals around the bounty inside. It was a predictable ritual, filled with surprise and promise.
There are many CSA options, including produce, eggs, dairy and meat selections, and the share size can vary from just enough for a single person to an amount sufficient to feed a family. Spring and Summer CSA sign up season typically starts in January and February and deliveries will begin in April and continue until the Fall. It may not be too late to sign up for a CSA, just contact the farm to see if they are still accepting applications (and be prepared to pay in advance promptly if there is an opening).
Following is a very incomplete list of some farms with CSA options available (I have purchased produce from each or been a CSA member in the past). If you are aware of other farms offering CSA options, please feel free to add them in the post comments.
In no particular order:
- Coon Rock Farm, Hillsborough
- Brinkley Farms, Creedmoor
- Britt Farms, Mt. Olive
- Pine Knot Farms, Hurdle Mills
- Hilltop Farms, Willow Springs
- Vollmer Farm, Bunn
- Green Button Farm, Bahama
- In Good Heart Farm, Clayton
- Double-T Farm, Clayton