Yes, you can find locally grown fruits and veggies during the winter in Arizona! Winter is actually when things like greens, root vegetables, and citrus are at their peak. You can participate in the bounty by joining a CSA, or community supported agriculture program. A CSA is a contractual agreement directly between a farmer and buyer. The format can vary from paying an upfront fee for a set number of weeks or a season to paying an amount weekly when you decide you would like a share of goods. Items in a CSA might include fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, eggs, meat, poultry, cheese, butter, bread, honey, or even chocolate. CSAs often include recipes in the weekly basket so you know what to do with unfamiliar produce.
When you join a CSA, not only are you receiving the freshest produce in season, you are also tremendously helping your local farmer by sharing the risk that is inherent in farming. When you buy your veggies directly from the farmer, they are getting more of your food dollars than if you were to purchase from a grocery store. That means more local dollars multiplying in your community.
At the same time you are strengthening your local economy, you are also reducing your environmental impact since your food is traveling much less than it normally might. The biggest benefit to participating in a CSA is that you will be trying new veggies and eating healthier!
The following CSAs are proud members of Local First Arizona:
Northern AZ Yum Yum Produce
You can find more information about Arizona CSAs on Good Food Finder.