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Science and the Environment

National CSA Sign-Up Day Encourages Support of Local Farms

Michele Skalicky

Friday February 27th is National CSA Sign-Up Day.  KSMU's Michele  Skalicky has more.

Curtis Millsap, owner of Millsap Farms in Springfield, said CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, an arrangement where community members buy a share of a farm’s produce.  Then, each week during the growing season, they can pick it up at the farm or at a nearby grocery store or have it delivered.

"So, they get a share of the farm's harvest once a week each summer in exchange for supporting that farmer upfront with a financial investment," he said.

Millsap said February 27th was chosen for the day because it’s the day of the year when the most people sign up for CSA’s.

"I think it's that time of year when people are yearning for greens, and we all want to see a ripe tomato in the near future," he said.

CSA was introduced in the U.S. in the 1980s and has since grown to thousands of farms across the country.  Those who sign up for a farm’s CSA receive a box of fresh produce each week.  Millsap said there are two or three CSA farms locally, and while it’s a small movement here, it’s a devoted one.

"And I think that's because part of what CSA touches on that's deeper than just the food is the desire for community.  You know, we all want to be connected to something, and part of what we want to connect with is the food and with other people who are also passionate about eating good food and growing good food," he said.

Millsap said they try to focus on growing things that people would buy in the grocery store like cucumbers and tomatoes.  But members will occasionally get something they might not be familiar with like kohlrabi.

Millsap Farms is celebrating today by offering free t-shirts and giving a one-day discount to those who sign up for its CSA.

For more information about Millsap Farms CSA, click here.