By Tyra Sutak
Eat well, Boulder. That’s what your local farmers are asking of you. As the temperature in Boulder rises and the imminent return of the Boulder Farmers’ Market looms— it’s only fitting to start talking crop.
Boulder County is home to numerous farms and with the help of Community Supported Agriculture programs in the area, the locally-grown vegetables, fruits, flowers, and other assorted locally-produced items are up for grabs. It’s a beautiful thing. CSA programs are one of those rare situations that are mutually beneficial for all parties involved. Each local farm accepting applications for their specific Community Supported Agriculture program emphasizes the sheer fact that joining a local CSA program is almost like jumping on board as a farmhand yourself.
CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is based on a simple principle: connecting people to their local food source.“Community Supported Agriculture consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production.” -United States Dept. of Agriculture
A CSA or Community Supported Agriculture is known as a locally-based economic model of agriculture and a popular local food distribution program. Think “Farm-To-Table” where the harvest actually lands on your own kitchen table. Pledging your financial support to a local farm with a CSA program is like scheduling a trip to the Farmers’ Market every week and going home with all of the fresh items that you went to the market in search of. But as a member of a CSA, you share the ups— and any downs that your chosen farm experiences.
In the words of the folks at the 63rd Street Farm, CSA programs are summed up: “As a community dedicated to the benefits we also share the ‘risk’ of mother nature and challenges she can bring. We encourage our members to know their farm, be proud of the food that is grown here, and to feed our community from within.”
ROI and benefits for most CSA members will contain items harvested at their peak in the summer, but applications for the coveted spaces of local CSA programs are happening now.
Here’s a list of Boulder farms that offer CSA programs this summer. Eat Well, Boulder.