Erin Eldermire first got hooked on Community Supported Agriculture, also know as CSA, when she signed up for a share at Cornell University’s Vet School, where she works. The weekly share of local produce is delivered right to her workplace, one of many CSA drop off locations in Tompkins County, and has changed the way she and her family eat, as well as their connection to food and local farms.
Erin had been searching for a source of locally grown food for a while, as she was interested in supporting the community while eating healthy food. She had been reading articles about the nutritious value of locally-sourced food; however, she found it difficult to know whether the produce in the grocery store was locally grown. Through an announcement from her employer, Erin learned about the CSA option and realized that it was just what she had been looking for. Once a week on Thursdays she walks downstairs in her office to pick up the food, which Erin says is “super convenient”.
Erin commented on how CSA has impacted her family. “We feel more connected with the local community both economically and ecologically. When shopping at Wegmans I try to be mindful of the origin of food but sometimes it is hard to find out where food is grown. The CSA makes this easy”. Her daughter even wants to be "a princess or a farmer" when she grows up.
Since joining, Erin said her family eats a great diversity of vegetables. Many of the vegetables are unfamiliar, which she otherwise would not have bought or tried. Erin mentioned, “Kohlrabi is something that we hadn't heard of before and became familiar with. I had also heard of a rutabaga but I didn't know what it was -- now I do!” Her children love to “gobble down strawberries in the share” because they are perfectly ripe and in season. In addition, Erin mentioned minimizing the dreaded time that she spends at the grocery store each week. This leaves her with more time to enjoy the weekend and her family.
Since joining this CSA, Erin has learned some things about the program that she would tell people looking into joining a CSA. The food that you can get from a CSA is not strictly limited to vegetables. For example, one can get a fruit, bread, or even mushroom share. Erin has tried a lot of different mixes of these shares and has been very impressed with the quality of the food which is always perfectly in season.
For more information on Community Supported Agriculture options, visit the CSA page on Get Your Green Back's website.
Profile by Leah Balkin, Get Your GreenBack Tompkins intern