Student’s Corner

Have you heard of a CSA before? CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and joining a farm’s CSA is a great way to support local farmers and receive fresh food. 

A CSA usually works by having members pay an upfront cost at the beginning of the farming season to help the farm pay for any necessary costs throughout the season including seeds, labor, and new equipment. In return, members receive a share of the farm’s bounty, often weekly with lots of produce. 

If a full CSA membership is too much of a cost, or it would provide too much food, there are often options to purchase half shares to split the total produce with a friend or family member. Here is a list from the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County with many farms in the area offering CSA memberships. Keep in mind that many CSAs in Western New York have sign-ups in the spring and don’t start providing produce until June.

According to Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality, pre-retail transportation makes up about 9% of the total energy used in food systems in the United States. Buying locally grown foods can help decrease this sector of greenhouse gas emissions. Also, it helps support local businesses and relatively farmers instead of contributing more to the impersonal industrial food system that supplies many of our grocery stores with food. 

Alternatively, if you want less of a commitment, farmers markets are a great way to support local farmers and purchase locally grown food. Check out this previous Student’s Corner to find some great farmers market options in Rochester.

Written by Sarah Woodams ‘24(T5)