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Sacramento-region residents are exceptionally lucky to have fresh, locally grown produce so close at hand. One way to take advantage of this agricultural bounty is by signing up for a CSA box, which provides its subscribers with a tasty array of just-harvested vegetables and fruits from a small nearby farm each week.
CSA, or community-supported agriculture, is a partnership between a farm and a community of supporters which provides a direct link between the production and consumption of food. Supporters, or subscribers, cover a farm's yearly operating budget by purchasing a share of the season's harvest. The subscribers’ fees pay for things like seeds, fertilizer, water, equipment maintenance and labor. In return, the farm provides a supply of beautiful, seasonal fresh produce to the subscribers throughout the growing season.
There are a number of CSA programs throughout the Sacramento region from which to choose. But one, based in Newcastle, offers its subscribers something special: the opportunity to add fresh, organic eggs and heritage extra-virgin olive oil to their weekly box.
The Natural Trading Company, a 40-acre farm in Placer County, delivers its CSA box through Oct. 25, 2013. This “weekly treasure chest of organic veggies” is available as a family box (recommended for 3-5 people), or a small box (for 2-3 people). But subscribers can also add pasture-raised eggs, laid by hens who spend the majority of their day freely grazing the hillsides for bugs and greens; and are never fed antibiotics, synthetics or hormones. The hens “are respected and live a healthy farm life,” says the farm’s website—“the way they are meant to live.” Also available to CSA subscribers is the farm’s extra-virgin olive oil, crafted from olives that have been hand-harvested from 140-year old Pendolino olive trees. Other CSA “add-on’s” include fruit, salad greens, wheatgrass and pea shoots.
Subscriber pick-for sites for the Natural Trading Company’s CSA box include Roseville, Rocklin, Granite Bay, Lincoln and Auburn. For more information visit the farm’s website or call (916) 409-9440.