Local News

Subscriptions to local farms can green your diet

Posted June 1, 2009 6:38 a.m. EDT
Updated June 1, 2009 7:23 a.m. EDT

— A growing trend called community supported agriculture (CSA) lets people get subscriptions to farms for local, organic food.

In Wake County, about 160 people have paid a $500 annual fee to join CSA group Hilltop Farms. They get first crack at farmer Fred Miller's organic fruits and vegetables.

Member Morgan Crawford said she enjoys having fresh produce whenever she puts together a salad.

"The day I get it, it's probably come off the farm. Maybe the day before, but it's usually that day," she said.

Crawford and other members pick up the produce they want at Miller's weekly drop sites around the Triangle. Other CSA farms will deliver a box of produce to members' homes each week.

Miller said that the green movement has pushed more business his way, mostly from people who local, organic food to green their diet.

"People are realizing that most of the food we eat travels 1,500 miles from the farm to the plate," Miller said.

Hillford Farms members can also get a taste of what it takes to bring food from the field to the table. Crawford occasionally works on the farm in exchange for a lower subscription rate.

"I was picking snow peas last week, and it took me forever to get the snow peas. It made me appreciate the price of snow peas," she said.

Working so closely to the land, her 5-year-old daughter Hadley can also make a connection with her food, Crawford said.

"We went out a few weeks ago and picked strawberries, and Hadley was eating them right out of the field," she said.

Miller acknowledged that the upfront cost to join a CSA might be high for some, but he said, you get what you pay for.

"We're not out to be the cheapest. We're just out to be the freshest and best possible food we can grow," Miller said.