If your New Year’s resolutions about healthy eating are already in the rearview mirror, you’re not alone, but you still have time to make good on those resolutions. Rancho Piccolo in Atwater is pleased to join other farms from around the country for the third annual CSA, Community-Supported Agriculture, Day on Friday, Feb. 24, when you can join other like-minded people around the country who are committed to eating healthful foods and preparing them for their families; supporting their local farmer; being kind to our planet; learning something new; and being adventurous in the kitchen.
Community-supported agriculture is a subscription to sustainable, locally grown produce that is distributed to members throughout the year. It is a form of investment that allows small farmers to continue growing on a scale that may not be sustainable without the CSA model. CSA members enjoy the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables for their family, while supporting their local farmer.
According to Small Farm Central’s CSA Farming Annual Report, the most popular time to join a CSA each year is at the end of February. To promote this important time for farmers, CSA Day was coined, and each year it falls on the last Friday in February. It’s an entire day dedicated to the celebration of community-supported agriculture, and CSA farmers enjoy an influx of sign-ups from members, which gives them revenue when they need it most for the growing season.
Getting food from a CSA is different from going to a farmer’s market or using a grocery delivery service. As a CSA member, you make a seasonal commitment to a small farmer in your area, and the produce is either delivered to your door or you pick it up at a local distribution center. CSA members take pleasure in knowing where and how their food is grown, have an open line of communication with their farmer and get to visit their farm.
“Community-supported agriculture is all about relationships and feeding families,” said Simon Huntley, CEO of Small Farm Central, a company that provides marketing support for small farms and started CSA Day. “CSA farmers typically teach members what’s in season throughout the year, and help them appreciate and cook food to which they may not otherwise be exposed.”
If you would like to celebrate CSA Day and support Rancho Piccolo, sign up for a share on Feb. 24, and use the hashtag #CSAday to join the online conversation. You can also sign up here to stay up to date on news and updates about CSA Day.
“Sign-up is easy,” said Julie Moreno, the Rancho Piccolo CSA Coordinator. “To learn more and to join us for the 2017 season, you can reach us at www.ranchopiccolo.com, set up an account online and payment can be done by credit or debit card. We deliver to pick up locations in Stockton, Modesto, Tracy, Manteca, Ripon, Turlock, Oakdale, Atwater and Merced. Or enjoy the convenience of home or office delivery.”
In 2006, Simon Huntley combined his passion for helping small farmers and his experience in technology to found Small Farm Central. The organization serves the technology needs of small business farmers, including websites, ecommerce, CSA member management and marketing tools.