Marylanders are being encouraged to support local farmers and obtain fresh produce by joining a community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm during National Community Supported Agriculture Farms Week, which runs from February 20-26.
The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) is promoting the initiative to help strengthen the state’s economy by keeping dollars in Maryland and supporting local farmers.
Community supported agriculture members pay a subscription to farmers in return for a share of the season’s harvest, which is usually provided weekly. Many CSAs also offer the convenience of delivering to central locations for pick up closer to subscribers’ homes or workplaces. Some even offer special rates if a subscriber helps with the harvest on the farm.
Acting Secretary Kevin Atticks of the Maryland Department of Agriculture said, “CSAs present a great opportunity to get fresh, local food—direct from a farmer. This is the perfect time to sign up with a CSA farm so you don’t miss out on any of the season’s fruits and vegetables.”
According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service’s most recent agricultural census completed in 2017, 12,549 farms in the United States marketed their products through community-supported agriculture, and Maryland had 119 CSAs.
To participate in a CSA farm, interested individuals can visit Maryland’s Best website’s listing of 85 farms that have CSA programs. There, they can identify which farm offers the location or pick-up location and products they are interested in and sign up today.
By supporting local farms, Marylanders can help ensure the availability of fresh produce in the region while strengthening the state’s economy. Joining a CSA provides access to healthy and fresh produce and helps support local farmers and their communities.