The CSA in Your Back Yard: This Garden Comes in a Box
The first time I heard the term “community supported agriculture” — or CSA — I was intrigued by the concept: Pay one price for a share of fruits and vegetables from regional farmers, and get fresh produce delivered to your doorstep throughout the long North Carolina growing season.
I didn’t sign up right away. But this year my family and I have turned over a new leaf by becoming customers of The Produce Box, which provides weekly deliveries to residents of the Triangle, Triad and Wilmington areas. I learned about The Produce Box when I started my job here last year. We work with The Produce Box to have them deliver boxes onsite for our employees to purchase as a part of our employee wellness program, and people I’d spoken to were really enthusiastic about what they offer.
More than just a deliverer of fresh fruits and veggies, The Produce Box is at the forefront of the sustainable food movement spreading across the state. The Raleigh-based, family-owned company supports 40 North Carolina farms by getting their goods in consumers’ hands. The business also donates produce boxes to food pantries, needy families and police and firefighters.
While there are a variety of benefits when it comes to The Produce Box right off the bat—many box options, customization, and the ability to skip a week without penalty—it was their story that got me excited. Because it’s not just about eating healthy, though that’s certainly rooted in their mission. It’s about doing more for North Carolina.
Here are just a few examples of what The Produce Box does that might surprise you:
- They support responsible agriculture. That means that their farmers use filtered or closed water systems and cover crops. Add to that, many of the farmers use little to no pesticides.
- They’re all about biodiversity. North Carolina soil provides an amazing variety of growing possibilities, but it hasn’t always been that way. The Produce Box knows that giving their customers a choice isn’t just about a varied table, but it’s also about making sure that we have a healthy ecosystem.
- It’s not just about vegetables and fruits. You can special order cheese, meats, and a variety of other grocery goods from The Produce Box. They source them directly from local farmers and artisans.
- They employ North Carolinians across the state. The Produce Box was dreamed up by Courtney Tellefsen, a stay-at-home mom who simply wondered where her family’s food was coming from. Her business now employees 200 people in addition to supporting the 40 farms that provide fresh foods.
Feeling hungry yet? The good folks at The Produce Box have shared a tasty recipe—perfect for the berry season that’s upon us. Enjoy!
Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothie
- 1 cup ice
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon honey
Put all ingredients into a blender or smoothie maker and blend to desired consistency.
Pour into a Mom’s favorite glass, garnish with a strawberry and serve!