Early in the pandemic, CSA boxes were all the rage. How long will that last?
The community-supported agriculture (CSA) box is one of the pandemic’s humble food heroes. These subscription boxes—users pay a fee for a regular assortment of edible goods, typically straight from a farm—have become even more popular in this Year of Being Inside, as we’ve all been forced to think beyond the old-fashioned weekly grocery run. That’s been a boon for many producers, who shifted more of their sales to CSAs when restaurant clients shuttered. And shoppers have benefited from boxes of veggies and items in short supply (remember the Flour “Shortage” of 2020?) at the local market. But as the pace of vaccination quickens, and it starts to seem inevitable that pandemic buying will come to end one day, it’s worth wondering if the surge will last. A recent Civil Eats story asked what will happen to CSAs—and the farms that rely on them—when things go back to “normal.”