How to support your local farmer, and eat well in the process

Last night I dreamed I was walking down the aisle of a church, my face arranged in a serene, dewily-happy expression, my heart filled with hope and joy, and my hands filled with a vibrant, lush bouquet... of salad greens.

Today is the first pick-up day for my local CSA membership. And yes, I'm a little too excited about it.

If you're not totally up-to-date on your sustainable-food acronyms, CSA stands for Community-Supported Agriculture. Participants in CSA programs basically buy shares in the harvests of local farmers; the harvests are then delivered at scheduled pick-up locations and times throughout the season. My CSA's pick-up spot happens to be a beautiful old church in my 'hood in Brooklyn , hence the dream. (I'm not one of those wedding-obsessed people, I swear! I'm already married! Weddings mean nothing to me!)

There are all kinds of great reasons to join a CSA: You get to support local farmers; you get insane amounts of eye-popping produce, which is often less costly than the mass-produced stuff at the supermarket; you get to meet your neighbors, or at least elbow your neighbors aside while fighting over that last pound of perfect tomatillos.

But my favorite thing about my CSA is checking its website every week to see what will be delivered: It's kind of like winning the fruit-and-veg lottery. Or getting a visit from the Fruit-and-Veg Fairy. Or something. The point is, every week at the CSA is an exciting surprise, almost an adventure.

Interested in having some produce adventures of your own? You can find out more about how CSAs work at, which also features a handy CSA search tool for finding a program in your area.

Already a card-carrying member of the farm-friendly fruit fellowship? Let's hear both sides: If you already belong to a CSA in your area, what's your favorite--or least favorite--thing about it?

Siobhan Adcock is the Deputy Managing Editor at Epicurious and has worked as a writer and editor for, The Knot, Random House, and HarperCollins, among other media companies. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in fiction writing from Cornell University , and has taught creative writing, creative nonfiction, and humor-writing courses.


  • Epicurious's New Seasonal Ingredient Map
    This handy interactive tool allows you to select your state and month to get a list of fruits and veggies you can expect to see at your local farmers' market.