Happy Spring! Spring means birds singing, warmer weather, and flowers blooming – but it also means fresh produce! If you are looking to learn more about locally-grown food, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs are a great way to begin.
CSA programs are offered all throughout the country (see here to learn more and search for programs in your area) and each program may offer different items. CSA sign-up typically begins in early spring. These programs vary in cost, and sometimes farms offer work trades in exchange for your farm bag. Many programs offer organic items. Bags or boxes are picked up or delivered weekly, and they contain a variety of items depending on your farm. Every week feels like your birthday when you peek inside to see what awaits your family! Items can include fresh eggs; homemade bread; jelly, honey, or jams; fruits and vegetables; milk; cheese; and more!
How good does that sound?
CSA programs are great ways to incorporate seasonal produce and learn how to cook items you may not generally buy. Every bag presents a challenge in that you must find ways to cook and include new items in your diet. Fresh, seasonal produce tastes wonderful, and you know where it came from and that it has not been sitting on a shelf all day. If you are looking to change your eating habits to more whole, local foods, this is an easy place to start! You might find a new favorite!
Getting involved with a CSA program also presents new educational opportunities for your children. Farm tours are typically available, and can teach children where food comes from and how it is grown. It brings a new level of appreciation for having food available. Parents can also teach their children about types of food (citrus fruits, melons, etc), colors, and ways items are grown (on a tree, in the ground). Cooking is also a very important skill for parents to teach children and gives parents the opportunity to model proper diet habits.
Other options include farmer’s markets and planting your own garden. Even something as simple as a lettuce mix or herbs can be grown in a pot.
Find a program and support your local farmers today!
Article by Amanda Plouzek
Amanda Plouzek lives in Wahoo, NE, with her husband and two children, Caden and Everleigh. She is a stay-at-home mom and a doula. She is studying nutrition and childbirth education. She can usually be found cooking, gardening, scrapbooking, and playing with her children. Her business webpage is: http://www.bellybirthandbeyond.webs.com
Amanda has written 3 awesome articles for Natural Family Today.
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