I recently had the opportunity to visit a local farm in Provo, Utah called La Nay Ferme. They actually had a booth at The Natural Baby Fair that I hosted last year but I had never had a chance to go up to the farm! It was the first time I’ve been to a working vegetable farm and it was such a neat experience to see how everything is grown. The vegetables were bountiful and the view overlooking Provo and Utah Lake, stunning! I had a hard time pulling myself away from the fresh basil plants because they smelled so good.
La Nay Ferme operates a CSA (community supported agriculture) program where locals can buy fresh produce. I was so impressed with the operation, I decided to share some photos as well as information about the benefits of CSA’s!
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What is a CSA?
CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture.” Community members join a CSA by purchasing a “share” of produce from a local farmer. You can typically purchase a share on a week-by-week basis or for an entire season. In general, the farmer chooses what produce goes in the share every week, rather than having members come and choose for themselves. However, some CSA’s do operate “market-style” by allowing members to choose their own produce.
The Benefits of Joining a CSA
You know exactly where your food comes from.
Since CSA’s are local you can even get to know the farmer and tour the farm. Many CSA’s also allow their members to volunteer to work on the farm from time to time. In a world where we have become less and less connected to the sources of our food, this is a major plus to joining a CSA!
The food tastes better.
I’ve learned first hand from having a garden in my backyard that a vine-ripened tomato tastes much better than one that ripens on a grocery store shelf. CSA’s allow produce to ripen before harvesting so you get the best-tasting produce possible.
Freshly picked produce is more nutritious.
Did you know that produce loses 50% of its nutritional value while it’s transported to stores and sitting on shelves? CSA’s typically harvest the produce the day you pick it up so you don’t lose any of those nutrients.
Produce is free from harmful chemicals.
Most CSA’s are organic farms and many steer clear of GMO’s.
Your overall diet will be healthier.
When your fridge is constantly stocked with produce you are much less likely to go out to eat or reach for convenience foods. Who wants to waste all that money you already spent on produce?
CSA’s save you money.
Purchasing produce from a CSA is typically more expensive than purchasing conventional produce from a grocery store. But if you tend to buy organic produce, shop at health food stores, or farmers’ markets, you are very likely to cut down on costs by joining a CSA.
Gain access to additional produce deals.
Occasionally farmers offer great deals on bulk produce at the end of the season. That is the perfect time to stock up on things for canning!
CSA’s save you time.
Picking up a share from the farm is so much more convenient than wandering the grocery store produce aisle looking for the best deals and vegetables, then waiting in line to pay for it all!
You get the chance to try new foods.
This could be considered a pro or a con depending on the person ;-) But CSA’s give you the opportunity to try new foods just about every week! You never know what will be in your share. You might find that you don’t love everything, but you might also find a new vegetable that you absolutely love! If you end up with something in your share that you don’t recognize, email your farmer. I’m sure they will be more than willing to give you ideas for using that particular vegetable. Or CLICK HERE to learn about the Farmer’s Market Challenge!
Gain a sense of community.
CSA’s offer a great opportunity to become more connected to your community. You can get to know the other members and feel good about supporting a local farmer and their employees.
How do I find a CSA?
For my local Utah readers, be sure to check out La Nay Ferme! The farm is located in Provo near the mouth of Provo Canyon. La Nay Ferme is a biodynamic farm that grows produce free from chemical sprays and GMO’s. Their CSA members receive same day harvested vegetables and herbs. You can purchase a full or half share for the whole season, or on a week-by-week basis. They even offer free delivery to Orem and Provo residents!
If joining a CSA just isn’t for you, you can also purchase individual produce from La Nay Ferme’s farm market Monday-Friday. You can also purchase their produce at Real Foods Market in Orem, Days Market in Provo and Heber, Liberty Fresh Heights in Sugar House or order from Winder Farms. You can find out more about La Nay Ferme on their website at LaNayFerme.com or on their social media pages:
Where do you buy fresh produce?