It’s almost Spring! The clocks are moving forward, and believe it or not, the snow is almost over! Spring is also a time that encourages healthier living and when many of us start to crave fresh fruit and vegetables. For most of us, right about now is also the time we start thinking about the summer’s warm weather and about getting fit and healthy, as we prepare for our summer “beach bodies.”
So how can your Spring fitness routine incorporate sustainability? What about considering supporting your local COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE (CSA) PROGRAMS?
Purchasing food that was produced locally and is in-season is a great way to get the healthiest, freshest ingredients and minimize your transportation costs and environmental footprint.
What’s a CSA?
CSA is a model of farming that provides fresh produce directly to its members for the regional growing season. Members commit to the CSA for the growing season and on a weekly basis receive a variety of produce, called a CSA share. The money members provide up front helps support the initial costs of starting the growing season. Depending on the program, some CSA Farms will even send you weekly emails with healthy recipes using the specific produce you receive that week!
So why not support a CSA this Spring as part of your wellness program? It can be a great tool to help you live a healthier lifestyle. Other benefits of joining a CSA include:
- Encourages healthier, fresher, and more creative eating.
- Makes the most of produce budgets by providing just-picked produce at peak nutritional value, grown locally with minimal chemical inputs.
- Encourages community engagement by supporting a local farm and the local economy. Additionally, some CSA’s also donate any unclaimed produce at the end of the pick-up week to a local Food Pantry.
Check out localharvest.org for an interactive map that will help you locate farmers' markets, CSAs, farms, co-ops, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area.
The interactive Seasonal Ingredient Map at epicurious.com allows you to see what foods are fresh in your area during any given month and even provides recipes and shopping guides for each food!
We encourage you to consider supporting your local agriculture by joining a CSA near you and enjoy healthy, fresh produce this year. Now is the time that many CSA’s are signing up for the 2013 growing season, so don’t delay!
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