Community Sponsored Agriculture
Community Supported Agriculture
It’s a simple enough idea, but its impact has been profound. Tens of thousands of families have joined CSAs, and in some areas of the country there is more demand than there are CSA farms to fill it.
Each farmer designs their CSA a bit differently, but the concept is the same. The farmer sells shares of the anticipated harvest. Local community members become members and shareholders of the CSA by making a financial commitment to the farm.
Each member pays a fee at the beginning of a growing season to meet some of the farm’s operating expenses for the upcoming season. Farmers provide members with baskets of delicious, fresh, locally grown vegetables, herbs, and fruit. Some CSAs also offer flowers, honey, eggs, meat, and dairy.
As a member, you share the ups and downs of the season. You share the risk as well as the bounty.
Members can directly access the farm, see their food, and know how and where it is grown. Community supported agriculture is a direct farm-to-consumer system, eliminating the middleman.
Instead of traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles to arrive at a supermarket, produce is picked up by shareholders within hours of being harvested. This provides some of the best vegetables ever tasted and also reduces the natural resources consumed in their production and delivery. And purchasing local food grown by a local farmer keeps money in the community and preserves open-space farmland as well as the farming lifestyle.