Fish and meat: New takes on the CSA

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You may have seen the folks from Cville CSF at the City Market this year. That’s "Community Supported Fishery," and it’s exactly what it sounds like: You sign up for a share like you would at a CSA farm, and you receive a certain amount of fish each week–catfish, rainbow trout, and/or prawns. (You can choose various combos of those.)

What’s cool about this? It’s a way to know your fishery the way so many of us value knowing our farmer. These fish are produced locally (in south-central Virginia), and the CSF promises they’re sustainably raised, free of pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics. Plus, just like small veggie farmers, the fisheries are a part of the local economy that’s easy to love–family businesses, sustainable practices, all that great stuff.

It’s great to see the CSA model infecting other types of agriculture. The Rock Barn, a Lovingston-based farm-to-table operation that does catering and sells at the Nelson farmer’s market, was signing folks up for pork shares this summer. Our CSA is also a flower farm and has a few customers who pick up a bouquet every week. The possibilities are endless: honey shares, pickles shares, egg shares…

Several existing farms also banded together this year to create a cooperative CSA called Firsthand Farmers Cooperative. As you can see on their page, they offered everything from "farmstead ferments" to mushrooms, plus the usual meat, eggs, veggies and so on. Looks like a great way to get more variety in your share.

Anyone signed up for one of these new types of CSA? How’d it go?

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