Joining a CSA can be an eye opening experience. With Community Supported Agriculture, community members support farmers by paying for food in the beginning of the season, and then they get a box of farm-fresh food each week.
For Macon York-Costlow and Luke Costlow, picking up their CSA box is cause for celebration. The husband-and-wife joined Gaining Ground Farm’s CSA for the first time this year.
It’s a typical Wednesday at the River Arts District farmers market in Asheville,and Luke opens the Gaining Ground van to pick up their box. “Let’s see what we got,” he says. “A big old eggplant. That’s beautiful. We’re going to make baba ganoush.”
They joined the CSA for many reasons: to support the community, enjoy fresh produce, and to discover new foods. “We almost did it for the challenge,” Macon says. “We know there will be produce that don’t know how to cook, but let’s get it anyway and force ourselves to get a recipe and try it out.”
Luke says that eating locally has become second nature since joining a CSA. Sometimes they don’t realize that they’ve made an entirely local feast until they sit down to eat. “We’ve had several times this summer that we have plated our dinner and we look down at the plate and said everything on this plate came from our garden or from our CSA,” he says.
There are dozens of CSAs in the Southern Appalachians. Learn more about Community Supported Agriculture at www.asapconnections.org