Spring is finally here! We may be looking out at a fresh blanket of snow, but farmers across the state of New Hampshire are gearing up for a busy growing season.
Early spring is a great time to get to know your local farmers by inquiring about various Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) options. From weekly shares of fresh produce, bouquets, herbs and flowers, to farm fresh eggs and freshly baked bread, CSA farm shares provide patrons with fresh, locally sourced options throughout the harvest season.
If you are new to the CSA concept, here are 3 reasons why you should consider making the investment:
Supplement Your Harvest
Although you may have a few raised beds in your backyard, chances are you lack time, space, or adequate sunlight to reap the benefits of a bountiful garden. By purchasing farm shares from a professional gardener, you are sure to have picture perfect tomatoes, along with enough cucumbers to pickle.
Support Local Farmers
Grocery stores certainly serve a purpose. Without them, we wouldn’t have access to a rainbow of fruits and vegetables over the winter months. With that said, there is something magical about tasting the first farm fresh tomato of the summer.
When you make the choice to buy local, you are making an investment in both your health, as well as the overall economy of your community.
Try Something New
When it comes to farm shares, you never quite know what you are going to get. From spinach, kale, and radishes in the spring, to tomatoes, cukes, and corn in the summer, you will have plenty of opportunities to test out different recipes throughout the season. Once fall arrives, you can experiment with various types of squash and plenty of potatoes for cold storage.
Residents of Belknap County are fortunate to have access to multiple CSA options. With a variety of options available, there is bound to be a program that fits your lifestyle and budget:
- Beans and Greens Farm, Gilford
- Moulton Farm, Meredith
- Picnic Rock Farms, Meredith
- Sticks and Stones Farm, Center Barnstead
- Still Seeking Farm, Gilmanton
- Surowiec Farm, Sanbornton
- Winnipesaukee Woods Farm, Alton Bay
If you like the idea of eating local, but don’t want to commit to a farm share program, make a point of visiting a weekly farmers market or check out a few of the Belknap/Carroll county farms listed in the Lakes Region Local Food Guide.
Contributor: Sarah Roberts, Master Gardener Intern
Photo: A young Belknap County resident enjoys exploring a farm share basket from Moulton Farm in Meredith.