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Many people think about trying a CSA, but aren’t sure what to expect. Here is a story of one couple and how they fared. 

Try a CSA for the first time

Meet Sarah and John, a couple about 50-something years old, who signed up for our Community Supported Agriculture program last year. They were looking for a way to eat healthy, fresh produce while supporting the local farm in their neighborhood. Little did they know how this decision would change their lives.

Sarah and John started receiving weekly deliveries of fresh, locally grown produce through our CSA program. They were excited to cook meals using the seasonal veggies and fruits, and found that their meals were more delicious and nutritious than ever before. They passed on eating out as frequently as previously, in order to use up all their vegetables, and discovered they had saved quite a bit of money after several months. They enjoyed learning about new produce and how to prepare it, thanks to the weekly newsletter and recipe suggestions provided by our farm. 

After just a few months, Sarah and John started to feel more energetic and overall healthier. They noticed their clothes fit better. When they went to the doctor for their annual check-ups, they found their blood pressures had dropped to healthier levels and both of their cholesterol levels had improved significantly. 

By the end of the year, Sarah and John had each lost 30 pounds. As they lost weight, they found it a lot easier to accomplish their daily walks. They felt like different people. Their doctor told them, “Whatever you are doing, keep doing it!” Sarah and John attribute their success to the fresh produce they received through our CSA program and to the support and encouragement they received from our farm community.

What is a CSA? 

What is CSA? These initials stand for Community Supported Agriculture. This is a program where individuals can sign up to get a bag of whatever is harvested from the farm each week. You have access to true farm fresh produce, grown without synthetic chemicals or pesticides, and you have a variety of vegetables and/or fruits which change with the seasons. For a thorough discussion of a CSA and some considerations before you join one, here is some more information: 

How can eating the CSA way change your health? 

By eating fresh produce that you prepare yourself, you reduce your sodium and sugar intake while you increase your vegetable consumption. Let’s face it, most everyone can add a few more vegetables to their daily meals. Most convenience foods and restaurant foods have high levels of sodium and sugar that will have a negative impact on your cholesterol and blood pressure. By eating more fresh vegetables and fewer processed foods, your body has a better balance. The longer you do this, the more your taste buds adapt to eating real food. Soon, farm to fork food is what your taste buds crave. 

Do you eat enough vegetables? 

Let’s be real here, most of us do not eat enough vegetables. Getting a CSA means you have the vegetables in your house and you need to use them up in order to prevent veggie melt downs. Sometimes that’s the incentive we need to do the right thing for ourselves. One of the best things you can do for your health and your budget is to fix meals at home using actual fresh ingredients. Consider it a way to save for your next vacation! 

Is there anything more important than good health? It’s hard to enjoy things if you do not feel well. Nutrition is the foundation of your health, and eating the CSA way helps you access those nutrients that fuel your body. 

What should you consider in a CSA program? 

If you are new to eating the CSA way, then a farm with several years’ experience growing for CSAs will be more helpful for you. They will be able to provide the variety and the support that can be helpful. Recipe suggestions and help identifying some of the vegetables can be two important resources to consider. Look for a farm that has extended growing seasons. 

While it is great to eat fresh produce in the summer, you already know that you should eat fresh produce all year. Many farms have learned ow to grow in all four seasons, so that you can eat well in each season. 

Consider how much flexibility is helpful for your schedule and lifestyle. What happens when you go on vacation? Can you put your share on hold? Again, an experienced farm knows how to handle those situations so that it works out for their CSA customers. 

Where can you find a CSA program? 

If you are looking for a way to transform your health and support your local community, consider signing up for our farm’s CSA program. You never know what kind of positive changes may come your way!

If you are not close to any of our delivery sites near Wilmington, Delaware, or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, then please support a farm near you. A great resource for finding a local farm is  Google is always helpful, if you search for “CSA near 19803” or whatever your zip code is, then a number of options should appear

Based in the state of Washington, Eat Local First summarizes the benefits of a Farm Share as ultra fresh locally grown food, you save money, eat with the seasons, enjoy good health, save time, and get to know your local farmer at 

Happy eating the CSA way!


About Ruth: I am the 6th generation of my family to farm here at Highland Orchards in Delaware. I grew up here, learning from my grandparents and parents how to plant, weed, harvest, and store fruits, vegetables, and flowers. My graduate degree is in history, so I love to research anything and everything. I have taught at all levels, including university and continuing education. I have done everything on the farm from planting to harvest to selling to social media. I love that I can share knowledge with people through books, blogs, and courses. You can find more about our farm at 

About Highland Orchards: Completely surrounded by suburbia, our small farm has been growing beyond expectations since 1832 in this location.

Growing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers, Highland Orchards provides true “farm fresh” for the community all year.  If you want to shake the hand of the farmer who grows for you, here is the farm! With plants in the ground or under cover in tunnels, we grow for every season. A family farm, we have three different generations involved in running the farm right now.

Come see us to eat fresh, eat local, and eat well!

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