Celebrate CSA Day 2017

Celebrate CSA Day 2017 by supporting a local farmer and ensuring a season’s worth of fresh fruits and vegetables.

While it is still cold and snowy across most of Michigan and the bounty of farmers markets and local food seems either a distant memory or a future longing, it is actually the perfect time to begin thinking about renewing your current community supported agriculture (CSA) membership, or becoming a member for the first time. Later this week, CSA farmers and organizations across the country will be celebrating the second annual CSA Day.

You may be asking yourself “what makes CSA’s so special that they require a day to celebrate?” A CSA is the easiest way to aquire a season’s supply of local fruits and vegetables directly from a farmer. It also allows members to develop a relationship and connection to the farmer and the land that produces the food they eat. In an effort to promote the model and the farmers who utilize it to connect with customers, an organization called Small Farm Central (SFC) created CSA Day in 2015.

This year’s CSA celebration is on Feb, 24, 2017 since it was the most popular day for CSA signups for farms using Small Farm Central’s CSA software. This small company, founded by a former farmer, has developed an online platform for CSA farmers to better manage their CSA programs. While there is a cost to use this online software, which is based on a farm’s  number of CSA members, the promotion through CSA Day is open to any and all CSA farmers across the country. Check out the “Are You In A Farm CSA” infographic.

The CSA Day website includes several resources for both CSA farmers and organizations who work to promote and proliferate CSA farms. Resources for farmers include a CSA farmer directory that is widly promoted on CSA Day. The directory, which is free to farmers to be listed on, is set up with a map feature so customers can find a CSA farm that is in their neighborhood, city or region. Customers can also search by farm name or geographic location. Many participating farmers will also be offering promotions as part of the celebration to encourage membership renewals and new sign ups.

Even though its still chilly, its never too early to start thinking about the upcoming bounty of Michigan agriculture and how you can ensure you have access to the freshest local produce.

If you are looking for more information about how to find a local CSA or are looking for ways to market your CSA program to new audiences, contact your local Michigan State University Extension Community Food Systems Educator.

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