Optimize Summer Eating - Join a CSA
The absolute BEST (in my opinion) way to eat the healthiest way possible, is to join a CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and is basically an up-front investment in a local farm that pays out each week with a huge variety of local produce. By purchasing your share in the Spring, or beginning of Summer, you are helping finance the farm's operations. In return, you receive a share of the vegetables once a week, usually for 15-20 weeks (depending on how long the growing season is where you live).
Becoming a CSA member is one of the best things you can do to improve your eating habits, because each week you are given a variety of vegetables to sustain you until you pick-up your share again the following week. With a large bag of produce every week, you are basically forced to eat more veggies (and often times fruit as well), so that your investment doesn't go to waste!
You'll often get a few veggies you're unfamiliar with, some you've never cooked before, and some you never even knew existed. Sometimes you get things you might not necessarily like but you either find a way to use it, give it to a friend to use, or compost it.
Overall, a CSA share is a great way to support a local farm of your choice, ensure you're eating plenty of produce, experiment with new fruits and veggies, and save money by not having to purchase produce from the store all summer!
Here is a link to some farms in the WNY area that have CSA programs (listed in no particular order):
- Tioga Valley Farm (where mine is from)
- Thorpes Organic Family Farm
- Native Offerings
- Green Shoots for New Americans - Journey's End Refugee Services
- Arden Farms
- Common Roots Farm
- Five Loaves Farm
- Porter Farms
- Becker Farms
- Plato Dale Farm
- Root Down Farm
- Westside Tilth Farm
And here is an article from Buffalo Spree with even more, and their contact information!