Try community-supported agriculture (CSA) for fresh produce and as a way to support local farmers. Photograph courtesy of the Santa Fe Farmers Market.
THINK OF COMMUNITY-SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE (CSA) as an ultra-local subscription box for crunchy lettuce, fragrant peaches, and spicy radishes. It also serves as an investment in local agriculture by helping growers buy seeds, improve their farms, and pay labor costs. “It’s a commitment and a relationship,” says Debbie Burns, CEO of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market. Here are her suggestions for making the most of your cornucopia.
Choose. While some farms offer individual CSAs, the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market box gets packed with goodies from several vendors. “Do some research the next time you visit the farmers’ market to see who you want to support,” Burns says.
Keep it fresh. Pickling and preserving are great ways to extend the shelf life of your produce, but nothing beats the crunch of fresh veggies. “Put them in a paper bag,” Burns says, “then in a plastic bag, and then in your crisper. It really works.”
Tackle the unknown. Encountering a new spicy pepper or root vegetable can be exciting, especially when they come with recipe suggestions. “We include a recipe in each bag,” says Burns. “When there are unfamiliar items, we try to include these items in the recipe.”
Explore CSAs throughout the state, to find which one is right for you.