Pick a CSA, Any CSA

It’s that time of year when a young man’s thoughts turn to picking out a Community Supported Agriculture program. Like many cvillenews.com readers, I’ve gone with Horse and Buggy Produce (not a true CSA, but more of a local farming aggregator for farmers who don’t want to run their own CSA) for the past couple of years, and ought to get off my duff and sign up again. And many friends speak highly of Best of What’s Around. For a review of all of the options, Cathy Clary provides a listing of seven area farms and explains the concept in the current C-Ville Weekly, while Erika Howsare airs some sour grapes about Horse and Buggy from local farmers.

The schtick, for those who aren’t familiar, is that you pay a big chunk of change up front — $150-$675 — to a local farmer to pick up a big box of fruits, vegetables, flowers, grains and herbs every week. They’re often (but not necessarily) organic, and “local” might mean grown right in Albemarle or from as far afield as the valley. Some CSAs require that you pitch in a few hours to help work on the farm. And some will let you pay extra for a weekly bonus supply of beef, chicken, unpasteurized milk or flowers. (I did the chicken and milk last year, and now I’m totally ruined.)

Now’s your chance to convince people to discover that Mexican stuff they’re buying at Food Lion is crap. Does anybody want to offer any specific recommendations for a CSA?

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