Five CSAs That Aren't Just For Earth Day

Earth Day is this week's cause celebre. Everyone from food trucks and arts institutions to television networks and giants of industry has jumped on the green bandwagon. Come Monday, many will have forgotten the simple message of how each of us can do our part to protect our planet. One method is through the use of CSAs (community supported agriculture), farms that sell shares of its seasonal crops to the public. Joining a CSA cuts down on pollution (no transnational trucking) and gives a boost to the local economy. Below are five local CSAs you can participate in.

Cold Springs Farms (Weatherford) Specializing in heirloom varieties of produce and herbs, this farm predominately operates from the Cowtown Farmers Market in Fort Worth. Each share offers certified organic foodstuff. This spring, there are hydroponically grown greens as well as beets, carrots and fruits.

Eden's Organic Garden Center and CSA Farm (Balch Springs) Marie Tedei, the owner of this farm and CSA, hosted the first Chefs for Farmers benefit dinner. It's a favorite of local chefs and many others. The spring shares are all snatched up, but there is still time to have your name put on the waiting list for summer. Or you can wait for the next annual commitment sign-up in August. Aside from produce, Tedei offers beef, chicken and eggs.

Good Earth Organic Farm (Celeste) There is still limited space available in this USDA-certified organic farm's CSA. Like all area CSAs, Paul and Lynn Magedson's operation offers fresh fruits and vegetables. The couple also provide grass-fed pastured lamb. The Dallas pick-up location is at the White Rock/Green Spot market.

Mansion Farms (Roanoke) CSA members pick up their weekly bounty Saturdays at Sandra Moore's farm. The shares include everything from beets to zucchini (depending on the season). Also available are goats and St. Croix sheep. Alpacas provide fibers, and composts is also sold. What makes this farm unique is that guard dogs for farmers and ranchers are raised and trained on the land. The same dogs protect Mansion Farms' livestock and poultry.

Rose Creek Farms (Sunset) We haven't forgotten our faithful readers residing in the suburbs. Rose Creek CSA shareholders who live in Arlington, Denton, Decatur and Wichita Falls get free delivery. Members are provided with all manner of fruits and vegetables along with soap and pickles. And if you ever aspired to be a homesteader, owners Ronny and Pam Johnson have a class for that. Other amenities offered to the non-CSA public are a U-Pick option, fun for the kids, and a soon-to-open bed and breakfast.

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José Ralat Maldonado