Choose a CSA
In a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, members sign up for individual subscriptions to a farm or small group of farms for the length of a growing season. In return, local growers provide a bag or box of seasonal produce and other farm products each week.
Some CSA shares only include produce, while others contain additional items like meat, eggs, dairy and prepared farm products. Many of these diversified CSAs are also beginning to offer local pet food to members as demand for healthier pet food rises nationwide.
Like the choices found at co-ops, most local pet food offered by CSAs is raw. The idea of feeding your pet uncooked food may sound a little gross, but some veterinarians say raw diets are actually better for your furry friend’s health and can ward against common ailments. For the health of you and your pet, talk to your vet before switching to a raw food diet.
To find out if a CSA in your neighborhood offers local pet food, start by browsing a list of programs in your area. Use LocalHarvest‘s state-by-state CSA directory to track down programs near you, and call a few in your community to ask if they offer raw, local pet food to members.
For best results, only call local CSAs that provide meat and dairy products and allow members to customize their weekly shipments (some programs ship the same box out to every member each week).
Note that while the local pet food trend is growing in CSAs, many programs do not offer this service to members. If the CSAs in your area do not offer local pet food, ask them to let you know if they add this service in the future, and try another option on our list in the meantime.