F. Josephine Arrowood has a nice article in the Glen Arbor Sun on the growth of Community Supported Agriculture farms in Northern Michigan. Leelanau County has (at least) six.
A central tenet of CSAs is the shared risk of farmers and customers in bringing good food from field to table, and Judy (Reinhardt of Sweeter Song Farm) notes that itâ€™s not right for everyone. Early in the season, new members may feel surprise at the relatively light offerings, such as lettuce, spinach, scallions, radishes and carrots. Soon, summer ushers in a wider abundance of field-fresh offerings, such as strawberries, peas, cukes, squash, tomatoes, peppers, grapes and more â€” but unlike a farmers market, itâ€™s not pick-and-choose, or as predictable in its scope.
â€œWe encourage people to learn how to put up food easily, like freezing, and we have recipes on our website so they can try out new foods, like kale, turnips or chard,â€ Judy says. Another advantage of CSA farms is that customers are more personally invested in the outcome. â€œThe best part is coming to Sweeter Song and seeing whatâ€™s here,â€ when customers pick up their harvest, freshly picked on Monday or Thursday for same-day collection.
Photo credit: ZeCarlos & Beets from Meadowlark Farm.