Organic vegetable delivery (OVD) is much like community supported agriculture (CSA), except it doesn’t carry the up front cost. It’s usually a pay-as-you-go service and is very similar to shopping at a grocery store, except you do so over the phone or online and the farmer or delivery service brings the food to you. It’s convenient, offers fresh produce, and is usually farmer-direct.
Organic Vegetable Delivery versus CSA
The two programs, at first glance, are similar. The difference is in the way the consumer pays for the food. In a CSA, the consumer pays a weekly or monthly “share” cost to get a share of food from the farm. This guarantees the farmer an income and guarantees the consumer fresh food at a known price. In OVD, however, the initial up-front fees and regular payments are not required. Instead, the consumer pays as he or she goes, buying only what is wanted when it’s wanted (and available). The consumer usually pays a delivery fee as well.
While the farmer doesn’t get a guaranteed payday this way, he or she does potentially get a higher price for the food according to market demand. Another benefit to the farmer, in comparison to a CSA, is that the farmer does not have to guarantee availability. So if unforeseen events cause crop failure, the farmer is does not have the stress of trying to make his shareholders happy. However, an OVD service does usually require a greater investment in marketing by the farmer.
How To Find an Organic Vegetable Delivery Service
The best way to locate an OVD is to visit a farmer’s market and ask those selling there if they offer such a service. Many CSAs will offer an OVD service to sell the unsold or unclaimed shares they may have. A simple Google search using your location and the term “vegetable delivery” or “CSA” can get good results. Use the format: “My town, State CSA” or “My town, State vegetable delivery.”
Another option is LocalHarvest.org which has extensive listings for local organic farms, CSAs, farmers’ markets, and more.
You could also check your local cooperative extension office or the Agriculture Department at your local state university. Very often they will know who to contact or where to go to get more information. Many high schools and colleges in rural areas have Future Farmers of America programs and may have a CSA or vegetable delivery service of their own.
A CSA or OVD can guarantee you great food, and help support your local food system and economy.
Here are other websites to learn more about local foods:
Slow Food USA
Find Local CSA
Eating Local: Sustainable Table
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