Blog : Guest Blog: CSA Day Coming to Winter Farmer's Market
By: Sarah Zoë Patterson of Seacoast Eat Local
Knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown can be challenging. But for many people, joining a CSA or Community Supported Agriculture farm provides an easier avenue, letting them get to know the farmers growing their food and return week after week to the same farm. It is an ideal connection to knowing what you're eating and many farmers in the greater seacoast area offer CSA shares with ample opportunities to participate. This year, get fresh, local food all summer long and really get to know your farmer by purchasing a Community Supported Agriculture share from a local farm.
Seacoast Eat Local will be hosting CSA Day at the Market at their upcoming Winter Farmers’ Market on Saturday, February 26th, at the Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford. Residents will have the opportunity to learn more about CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), meet the farmers offering shares, and sign up for the 2011 season. Sixteen CSA farms are signed up to take part in this event, representing over 1,500 available shares in our region.
Community Supported Agriculture offers a terrific way for people to get a steady supply of local food directly from tfarmers. Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, is a partnership between consumers and farmers in which members buy shares of the farm’s harvest and receive regular allotments of food throughout the growing season.
For farmers, this provides much needed cash flow for the beginning of the season, as well as a ready market and community of supporters. Shareholders join in the risks of the growing season but reap the benefits of the harvest. Community Supported Fisheries, or CSFs (modeled after CSAs), are a way to buy seafood directly from fishermen, and support our local fisheries by purchasing seasonal shares.
Each CSA and CSF has its own structure, pricing and distribution schedule, and some farms have work requirements. Many different models of CSAs exist, including diverse pick-up locations and hours. Some farms have started offering a market style CSA where customers can shop at the farmers' market after purchasing credit with the farm.
A list of CSA farms in the Rockingham, Strafford, and York Counties is available at Seacoast Harvest, www.seacoastharvest.org, the online guide to local food.
Applecrest Farm Orchards Hampton Falls, NH www.applecrest.com
Brookford Farm Rollinsford, NH www.brookfordfarm.com
Eastman's Local Catch Seabrook, NH www.eastmansfish.com
Farmer Dave's CSA Dracut, MA www.farmerdaves.net
Heron Pond Farm South Hampton, NH www.heronpondfarm.com
Meadow's Mirth Farm Stratham, NH www.meadowsmirth.com
Moondance Gardens South Berwick, ME
Red Manse Farm Loudon Center, NH www.redmansefarm.com
Riverside Farmstand and Greenhouse North Berwick, ME www.riversidefarmstand.com
Stone Wall Farm / Osprey Cove Organic Farm Madbury NH
Touching Earth Farm Kittery, ME www.touchingearthfarm.com
Two Toad Farm Lebanon, NH www.twotoadfarm.com
Wake Robin Farm Stratham, NH www.wakerobinfarm.com
Wild Miller Gardens Lee, NH www.wildmillergardens.com
Willow Pond Community Farm Brentwood, NH www.willowpondfarm.org
More information about CSA Day can be found at www.seacoasteatlocal.org. The website also provides details about Seacoast Eat Local’s series of Winter Farmers’ Markets, including a list of the 35+ other vendors you can expect to see at the February 26th market in Rollinsford. Wentworth Greenhouses is located at 141 Rollins Road, Rollinsford, NH, a mile past Red’s Shoe Barn of Dover.
Seacoast Eat Local connects people with sources of locally grown foods and advocates eating locally for the health of our environment, community, culture and economy. Through advocacy, organizing and education, they work toward a sustainable local food system that meets the needs of both producers and consumers. They organize winter farmers’ markets, coproduce Seacoast Harvest, sponsor workshops and events, and provide information through their email newsletter, blog and website, www.seacoasteatlocal.org