Finding and buying fresh fruits and vegetables has never been easier. Here are five ways you can get the freshest ingredients for your table at home.
1. Try community-supported agriculture (CSA)
Signing up for a CSA is one of the easiest ways for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Though details of each CSA vary, the essentials typically remain the same: A farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public, and interested consumers can buy a certain number of shares. A share is essentially a membership, and once a consumer has signed up and paid for his or her share, that person receives a box, bag, or basket of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season. In addition to vegetables, some CSAs offer opportunities to purchase shares of eggs, meat, fruit, and beans at additional costs.
To those used to eating all types of produce from a grocery store, a CSA will certainly be an adjustment. Because the model typically requires that you pay upfront for shares, members won’t be reimbursed even if a farm’s crops have been damaged and pickings are slim. It can also be difficult to prepare meals with crops you’re not used to. But by committing to a CSA, you’ll most likely save money, eat locally, and help support local agriculture by ensuring farms receive money to keep operating.