Seacoast Eat Local is proud to announce CSA Days at its February Winter Farmers’ Market on Saturday, February 9 at the Exeter High School in Exeter, NH and Saturday, February 23 at Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford, NH. Both markets run from 10am-2pm.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a food production and distribution system that directly connects farmers and consumers. The term has become so well-used that CSA now also refers to an individual farm’s CSA program. Basically, consumers buy "shares" in a farm's harvest in advance and receive regular allotments of food throughout the growing season. This way, farmers earn important early-season capital as well as a ready market and community of supporters. Shareholders join in the risks of the growing season but reap the benefits of the harvest, including field-fresh produce and greater access to high-demand fruits and vegetables, not to mention rare and heirloom varieties.
Each CSA has its own pricing structure and distribution schedule. Most require a seasonal buy-in and offer weekly pick-ups or even an option for location pick-up. Some programs offer flexible choice, farm stand shares, or add-ons such as meat, bread, or dairy. Many CSAs also offer farm visits, u-pick days, and other special events for members.
Consumers interested in more information about how to pick a CSA can find a list of questions on the Seacoast Eat Local website (www.seacoasteatlocal.org) they might want to consider and ask farmers at the CSA Days, such as how much produce is in a share, what foods can be expected, and how many weeks the share is for.
CSA Farms at the February 9 Exeter market include: Blue Bell Greenhouse, Brookford Farm, Heron Pond Farm, Maggie Mae Farm, Meadow's Mirth, Mildred's Drumlin Farm, Red Manse Farm, Stout Oak Farm, Wake Robin Farm, Wild Miller Gardens, and Willow Pond Community Farm.
CSA Farms at the February 23 Rollinsford market include: Bartlett Farm Services, Brookford Farm, Heron Pond Farm, Meadow's Mirth, Mildred's Drumlin Farm, Red Manse Farm, Sirois Family Farm, Touching Earth Farm, Two Toad Farm, and Wake Robin Farm.
CSAs offer a terrific way for people to get a steady supply of fresh, local food directly from the producers while creating a relationship of mutual support between farmer and eater. There are a lot of diverse options for pick-up locations, share structures, available foods, and farm involvement. The community is encouraged to come to CSA Days to find the right option for them.
The February 9th market is generously underwritten by Exeter Hospital, and supported by Bikram Yoga and Farm Credit East. The February 23rd market is generously underwritten by Wentworth Greenhouses and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, and supported by Farm Credit East. CSA Days at the markets is generously supported by Veris Wealth Partners. Anyone interested in the dates and locations for upcoming markets, as well as more information and a vendor list for each one, should go to www.seacoasteatlocal.org.
Seacoast Eat Local connects people with sources of locally grown foods and advocates eating locally for the health of our environment, community, culture and economy. Through advocacy, organizing and education, they work toward a sustainable local food system that meets the needs of both producers and consumers. They organize winter farmers’ markets, produce Seacoast Harvest, sponsor workshops and events, and provide information through their email newsletter, blog, and website, www.seacoasteatlocal.org.