With summer upon us in Western Pennsylvania, many of our favorite fruits and vegetables are finally in season. No more strawberries from California or salad greens from Arizona. Locally grown produce is here, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA’s) are a great way for families and local restaurants to get fresh food right to the kitchen. Most programs work by subscription, with weekly pickups or deliveries of fruits, vegetables, and sometimes meat or dairy grown and harvested right in our communities. A typical basket in June might include 3-4 heads of lettuce, one bunch of parsley, one bunch of cilantro, spinach, scallions, baby beet greens, pea greens, and kale. There are many local CSAs, including Harvest Valley Farm, Blackberry Meadows Farm, Dillner Family Farm, and Kretschmann Farm, all within Butler County.
Another great option to find produce that has not been shipped halfway across the country are at local farmers’ markets. Even if you aren’t ready to commit to a weekly box, you can still get all the benefits. Buying local helps you to reconnect with the cycles of nature in your region. Local foods are healthier, packed with more vitamins, as they are grown in nutrient rich soil right in our backyard. A farmers’ market is a great place to gather with family and friends for a fun stroll through the tents and tables overflowing with produce, cider, prepared foods and baked goods. Jams, honey, and even handmade soaps are available at farmers’ markets and probably not even at your local grocery store.
Connect with your community, support local businesses, reduce environmental impacts, and serve your family the freshest and healthiest food, sourced right here in Western Pennsylvania, by supporting CSAs and farmers’ markets.