Buy local. We’ve heard it before. Buying produce and food from local farmers, boosting the community’s economy and helping the environment. Why not support our neighboring farmers and reduce gas emissions from shipping, right?
Many in our region are jumping on the bandwagon and becoming localvores. And all the trendy kids are doing it through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).
Here’s how it works:
A farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to consumers, which is a box filled with food. Then, with your membership or subscription, you pick up your “share” at designated pick-up points in your area each week.
When you go to get your share, the farmers typically have a selection of produce for you to choose from. You fill up your basket or box and off you go! And you’re not limited to just vegetables. Some farmers offer eggs, homemade bread, meat, cheese, fruit and flowers.
And there are tons of CSA’s right under your nose.
Vollmecke Orchards CSA in Chester County farms runs from May through November and costs $695 to join. Members can pick-up their goodies on Tuesdays or Fridays between 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at locations in Narberth, Paoli and West Chester, Pa.
Spending almost $700 may sound like a lot, but it’s actually cheaper than if you shopped at the supermarket.
For all of the produce you get straight from the farm, it would cost about $850 per year if you picked it all up at the store -- that’s almost $150 in savings.
And you may not think to drive to Philadelphia to pick up farm-fresh foods, but look no further than Kensington's Greensgrow Farm where you "don't have to spend an hour in the produce section of SuperFresh trying to figure out 'What do I want to eat this week?'...I get to maintain an air of hipster superiority, and you can't put a price on that," Yelp reviewer Tyler B. said.
You can find everything your heart desires at the city farm, too. "I picked up arugula, cilantro, rosemary, fennel, leeks, orengano, orange mint, mint, strawberries, plus blackberries and blueberries bushes. We also picked up some eggs and coffee," Yelper Holly H. wrote.
So, why should you turn localvore? Well, according to Local Harvest, there are several benefits.
You’ll be eating fresh food, trying new vegetables, getting to know local farmers and learning to eat seasonally. The farmers reap the benefits, too, by getting to know the local community and of course, making a profit early in the season.