Wednesday, December 23, 2009

CSA: Community Supported Agriculture


from Ginger Ridge Farms, Mountain View, HI




I'm catching up on my rss feeds and found an article on ma'ona about CSAs (community supported agriculture). Basically, you pre-pay for a box of goodies from the farm(s) and every week you get a box. The money is used for supporting the farm and in return you get a surprise box of usually organic veggies and fruits.  The idea is intriguing, although considering we have the best farmer's markets in the state, I'm wondering if it's not cheaper to just get my butt up on Saturday morning and fight the parking space hoarders for my fresh veggies. That way I can get exactly what I want and I won't waste on things I don't know how to use or my boys won't eat. Still, like teaching, I think farming is a noble and underappreciated kuleana that needs to be supported by the community.

I googled CSA and found several resources if you are interested in checking out CSAs in your area.
The US government provides information on what it is and how to find farms near you. I went to the Local Harvest site and finding farms is as easy as putting in your zip code. I also narrowed it down to CSAs in Hawaii and found one  farm in Mountain View which is about 20 minutes away from Hilo - Ginger Ridge Farms. Their weekly box is above. They charge $25/week, with a one month, $100 minimum. Pick up is in Mountain View on Sundays, but if they expand their membership,  they may deliver in Hilo, Keaau, Pahoa and Kapoho.

The other CSA farms on the Big Island are:
Kanalani Ohana Farm in Honaunau, south Kona ($432/year for a full share; $240/year for a half share)
Lions Gate Farm (Kona coffee) in Honaunau, south Kona ($18.25/lb. of coffee picked up weekly or monthly)
Adaptations, Inc. in Kealakekua south Kona ($19/week with a 12-wk min. for "basic"; $27/week with 12-wk min. for "gourmet")

I did notice that none of these farms had any ratings, so I'm curious as to what people's experiences are with CSAs.

New Year's resolution: go to more farmer's markets

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