1. CSAs connect consumers to local farmers and fresh food CSAs or Consumer Supported Agriculture, is a model for connecting consumers to local farms, originally started in nearby Great Barrington, MA in the 1980’s. CSAs offer consumers the opportunity to become shareholders in their local farm; in turn, the farm provides fresh, locally grown – and in Yellow Stonehouse Farm’s case – organic vegetables, in exchange for your membership.
2. CSAs are thrifty Yellow Stonehouse Farm’s CSA is a very good value. For about the price of dinner for two, or $33 a week, you receive a generous amount of organic produce of the highest quality, nutrition, and freshest flavor. Buying directly from the farm, instead of the grocer, skips the middleman, and gets you a better deal.
Yellow Stonehouse Farm is also an all-inclusive CSA – your membership entitles you a vegetable share plus access to the farm’s extensive cutting gardens, popular pick-your-own vegetable patches plus access to the back acreages extensive walking trails and picnic areas.
3. CSAs are healthy Joining a CSA improves your health by adding vegetable nutrition to your family’s diet on a consistent basis – plus cooking fresh vegetables eliminates many of the additives and extra ingredients of processed food. Locally grown vegetables are fresher and retain their nutrients versus produce transported thousands of miles. Organic farmers don’t use pesticides and chemical fertilizers, not to mention organic food tastes better and has more nutrients since they are grown in healthy soils.
4. CSAs are friendly Perhaps one of the best things about joining a CSA is the wonderful community you become a member of – sharing a love of food, nature, and cooking. Belonging to Yellow Stonehouse Farm’s CSA is fun! We encourage everyone to engage with the farm by picking vegetables and flowers and experiencing the beauty of nature; we have community events such as potlucks and harvest celebrations; we have members who are photographers, bird watchers, herbalists and walkers; experienced cooks and those who are just learning. You’ll get delicious recipes to prepare your vegetables and you’ll get to know your farmer’s face to face, who are happy to see you and to answer any questions you may have.
5. CSAs are green Community supported agriculture encourages non-polluting farming practices such as organic growing methods. This type of farming also minimizes food waste by producing just the amount of food members need, with minimal unused surplus – and any surplus we have is donated to charitable food pantries and kitchens. Supporting your local farm also helps to conserve the land, agricultural heritage and beautiful natural resources of a historic farming legacy in Westfield.
6. CSAs are a win-win For both CSA members and farmers! As a shareholder, members are entitled to a wide variety of nutritious, freshly picked vegetables over an extended season (June – October) at an affordable price. For the farmer, knowing how many people to grow for permits efficient planning, seed ordering and harvest scheduling. All of this helps sustain the farm as an agricultural enterprise so that future generations will also be able to enjoy fresh, locally grown food!