BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Getting your produce straight from the farm is the best way to know it's fresh and healthy. And there's a way you can get all of you favorite farm raised meat, produce and dairy on a weekly basis this summer. It's called the Community Supported Agriculture program and it makes getting farm groceries as easy as getting a newspaper.
"It stands for Community Supported Agriculture and it's basically a partnership between farms and customers. And it's like a subscription program, so it's like a newspaper subscription- for vegetables," says Gene Ripley of Ripley Farm.
The CSA Program lets customers build relationships with participating farms in the spring to receive their favorite local produce every week throughout the summer, giving each customer a chance to support a Maine farm all season.
"I think it's absolutely great. It's a great way to get lots of healthy food on the table for families, it's a great way to get to know your farmers more if you're coming and picking up from them or if they're coming and dropping off for you. It kind of gives more of a bond between farmers and the people that are buying from them," says Erin Donahue of Balfour Farm.
At Saturday's Meet Your Farmer's CSA Fair, food patrons had the opportunity to meet the local growers that put food on their tables. There were taste testings, samples, as well as meats, cheeses and vegetables for sale.
Ripley says, "Our rainbow carrots right here are really hot selling and people like trying the new colors. Purple was actually the original color of carrots."
Patrons could also subscribe to one of the 13 farms present while enjoying the fair. Farmers find the program helps them build strong relationships with customers, and that that's what keeps them coming back. And the fair is great way to get to know future customers.
"So this way, farmers are able to build those relationships early on and then keep those relationships going throughout the season. And it's fun for customers," says Erin Sweeney, Agricultural Organizer with Food AND Medicine.
Many farms have CSA programs during other seasons and throughout the year. For more information or to subscribe to a farm, you can visit www.mofga.net