Spring has given us some warm and sunny days, reminding us that summer is just around the corner in Fairfield County. Did you know that our little corner of the world was once a booming agricultural landscape? It remains a top-tier region for small farms and local produce and humanely raised livestock for meat and dairy. Want to enjoy the freshest produce around, increase your food source traceability, and support local farms?
Join a Fairfield County CSA!
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Much like investing in a company as a “shareholder,” you can pay a lump sum in advance to support a local farm as they bring agriculture and meat to market. As a member, you enjoy the fruits (and veggies!) of your membership every week! CSAs offer flexibility and choices. Clean eating for our family and healthy environmental practices are additional benefits of joining a CSA. Our farmers work hard, and they appreciate being able to count on their members to enjoy their bounty.
Depending on your membership type and preferences, you’ll get a weekly or monthly share of seasonal produce, meat, or dairy products, typically starting in June and ending sometime in late fall.
In some instances, you pick up your weekly share directly at the farm, and some farms have several delivery locations for you to pick up from, usually a farmer’s market or community center like a YMCA or a local library where the farmer can drop off your weekly or monthly goods. Farms have limited shares and do sell out, so now through late spring is the time to choose a farm you want to be a part of.
If the cost seems more than you want to spend at once, some CSAs allow you to split your share with a friend, and some allow you to split up your payment throughout the season. Some CSAs also encourage members to be part of the community and volunteer some time in exchange for discounts.
Additionally, check out the resource link below for reduced-cost programs if your family needs a little help participating in a program. This summer, I joined a meat CSA with Ox Hollow Farm from Woodbury, CT, and I will pick it up at the Westport Farmer’s Market each week.
Most Fairfield County CSAs have a base vegetable share membership, and then you can choose to take advantage of their other offerings, which may include fruit, herbs, flowers, local honey, or eggs. Some farms specialize in meat or dairy, and they offer CSAs as well. Check out the links below and learn more about the farms you are interested in, what they grow or raise, and their philosophy and growing practices.
Fairfield County CSAs
Sport Hill Farm, Easton (and Westport), CT
Gazy Brothers Farm, Oxford, CT, with pick up at various Fairfield County markets
Stoneledge Farm is located in the Catskills, with drop-off locations throughout Fairfield County
Reduced Cost CSA Programs – Learn about farms that offer a reduced cost for CSAs if you need financial assistance to join.