One of the best things about summertime, in my opinion, is fresh, home-grown tomatoes for bacon-lettuce-and-tomato sandwiches. And the really neat thing is that even if you don’t have garden space or even a corner of a patio for bucket-tomatoes, there are other options available other than your local grocery store.
With Community Supported Agriculture, there are local gardens and farms in your area that you can support with your purchases and enjoy the “fruits” of their hard work. A CSA, (for Community Supported Agriculture) is a way for the food buying public to create a relationship with a farm and to receive a weekly basket of produce. By making a financial commitment to a farm, people become “members” (or “shareholders,” or “subscribers”) of the CSA. Most CSA farmers prefer that members pay for the season up-front, but some farmers will accept weekly or monthly payments. Some CSAs also require that members work a small number of hours on the farm during the growing season.
A CSA season typically runs from late spring through early fall. The number of CSAs in the United States was estimated at 50 in 1990, and has since grown to over 1000. By this time in the growing season, many CSA’s are already committed to private members; however, many do sell surplus produce in area farmers markets, such as Gaia Gardens, located in Decatur, does at the Morningside Organic Farmers Market each Saturday morning from 8AM to 11:30AM, located across from Alon’s Bakery on North Highland Avenue, featuring cut flowers, vegetables, and herbs. You can read more about Gaia here:
Each Wednesday from 4PM to 7PM from May through December, the Decatur Square Farmers Market is open for business, offering locally grown fresh organic produce, flowers and other food products such as hand-made soaps. It is a market that supports local farmers by offering them an intown location to sell their products. It is located in the Bank of America parking lot in downtown Decatur at 163 Clairemont Ave, Decatur, GA 30030. Read more at: www.decaturfarmersmarket.com
For our families located east of Atlanta, near Conyers and Covington, the Square Market Outdoor Market is located at the historic town square in Covington, Georgia. It is a privately owned open-air market open to local family farmers, artisans, and cottage industries that produce local, hand-crafted food and other products. It favors small family farmers who offer seasonal produce that is “field-grown” with minimal inputs that foster land stewardship and sustainable farming practices. it also favors artists who employ local materials and mediums and handcrafted foods that celebrate our local foods and culture. The market’s season began May 7th and continues through the last Saturday in October from 8AM until noon rain or shine. For additional information, check out http://squaremarket.org/
Interested in learning more about Community Supported Agriculture? Check out their website: http://www.localharvest.org/csa.jsp for additional farms and markets in your own area.
And find some of those luscious, mouth-watering, home-grown tomatoes, and break out the mayonnaise and bread for a scrumpdiddlyumptious sandwich! YUM!