What is a CSA?
Are you thinking about signing up for a CSA but wanting to learn more about the concept before signing up? Check this out.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a very popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food from the farmer. A farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to their customers. The shares will typically consist of a box of vegetables and/or fruit, but other products may be included. Consumers purchase a share, membership, or subscription and in return receive a box of seasonal produce each week throughout the season. The each farmer may have a slightly different season depending on their geographic location and growing strategies.
These arrangements are beneficial to both the farmer and the consumer for a variety of reasons.
Benefits of the farmer:
- Farmers get to market their products in the slower seasons of the year, before they get busy with the intense farm work.
- Farmers receive payments earlier in the season, which greatly helps the farms cash flow.
- Farmers get to know the people they are serving, and they get to build relationships with their customers
Benefits for the consumer:
- Consumers get to eat very fresh food, full of nutritional value.
- Consumers get to learn new ways to cook and are exposed to new products that they may not normally buy in the store.
- Kids eat more vegetables from their particular farm, many refer to their boxes as Christmas in July
- Consumers get to learn how and where their food was grown.
This is a very simple idea that has become a craze all over the US. In many places there is a greater demand than the farms can fill.
Many farms operate on a shared risk platform. This means that the consumer will share in the good and the bad of raising agriculture products. Meaning if there is a surplus of tomatoes, or a crop failure of peppers, all involved understand those risks and or rewards. This creates a sense of community among the members and farmers.