Community Supported Agriculture programs let customers sign up for a season's worth of fresh produce in one handy box. Veggie-lovers pay upfront for weekly portions of everything from lettuce to squash (and sometimes meat, eggs and cut flowers). The farms then dole out the food at convenient pick-up locations each week. The program provides local farms with start-up cash for spring and summer expenses and helps farmers plan how much to plant and grow.
Community Supported Agriculture isn't just for veggies. Dry Ridge Farms in Mars Hill will offer "meat money" to customers that pay for local meat in advance. Members come to the farm's stand at tailgate markets to pick out the meats they want that week. Each purchase is deducted from the prepaid total. “We realize many of our customers would like to support us through a CSA but aren’t as comfortable letting us surprise them with our picks,” notes co-owner/operator Wendy Brugh. “Meat Money is a way for them to support their farmer and get the products they know how to prepare and know they love.”
Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project will host a CSA fair on Thursday, March 21 from 3-6 p.m. at the Haywood Park Hotel Atrium. Farmers from throughout the region will be in attendance to spread the word about their farms, answer questions and sell CSA shares. There will also be a cooking demonstrations, activities for kids and information about ASAP. To find out more go to www.asapconnections.org.