by Kate Strassel.
Believe it or not, winter is the perfect time to purchase a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share for the upcoming summer and fall. “Now?” you ask. “But there’s snow on the ground, and I haven’t even received any seed catalogs yet. It’s too early.” While it may seem too early to the consumer to be thinking about local tomatoes and corn, you can be sure that come January, most farmers are already busy planning out their crops and compiling their seed orders.
Need more convincing? Here are just a few reasons why joining a CSA now makes sense:
1. Farmers rely on the income from CSA shares purchased in the winter and early spring to buy seed and hire staff. The earlier they have the money to work with, the more efficiently they can plan for the upcoming growing season.
2. Many seed companies actually sell out of certain seed varieties before spring has even arrived. When farmers are able to place their seed orders in January or February, they are able to offer a diverse selection of crops to their CSA members.
3. With the continually increasing interest in CSAs, many farms are selling out of shares quickly and placing customers on a waiting list for the next year. Available shares for the upcoming season will go to those customers first; remaining shares are then offered to the rest of the community on a first-come, first-served basis. Purchasing a share as soon as they’re available is the only way to guarantee you won’t be left out.
4. A CSA share makes a great family holiday gift.
There are dozens of CSAs serving communities all over the South Shore, and the list continues to grow each year. The edible South Shore & South Coast website has the most current listing of CSAs in Plymouth and Bristol counties. (Meat CSAs are also starting to arrive in our area, see notations on eSS&SC list.) If the CSA you’re interested in hasn’t started selling shares for the upcoming season yet, be sure to have your name added to their waitlist. Better safe than sorry.
Don’t delay—join a CSA today.
Kate Strassel is a freelance writer and editor who is always on the hunt for new opportunities to live and eat locally. She lives in East Bridgewater with her husband and two children.