Farm Fresh for All

You can blame Michael Pollan if the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program at your favorite farm is filled to the brim this summer. Some farmers see a direct link between the publication of Pollan’s books and an increase in their CSA subscribers. A few pages of Pollan seems to be enough to send folks looking for fresh, local, and organic produce.

It’s a good thing, really. As an article in the San Francisco Chronicle reports, CSA programs—which provide subscribers with a weekly box of fruit and veggies from a local farm—allow farms to expand, and give the farmers a guaranteed (and prepaid) market for their products. According to one, “With the CSA, if we pick 320 bunches of arugula, I know every one is sold. If I pick 100 bunches for the market, I may sell out or I may come home with 30 or 40 bunches.” These guarantees also allow the farmers to “offer employees steady labor and benefits that are unheard of.”

And the recipients seem pretty happy with the arrangement as well. “CSA lovers tend to be a committed bunch. They show up in droves on farm days to pick pumpkins or strawberries and to see where their food is grown.”

The only drawback is, well, you gotta like those greens. “You have to be a vegetable eater,” says one CSA farmer. “It ends up delivering more fruits and vegetables into people’s lives than they’re used to.”

Which, of course, is hardly a bad thing.

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