For over 25 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer.
Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.
Advantages For Farmers
- Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin.
- Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow.
- Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow.
Advantages For Consumers
- Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits.
- Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking.
- Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season.
- Find that kids typically favor food from “their” farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat.
- Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown.