Community Supported Agriculture – CSA
CSA is a socio-economic model of agriculture and food distribution. A CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a local farming operation. Growers and consumers share the risks and benefits of food production. This community consists of a variety of people who really care about their food. We all have very diverse backgrounds but together we treasure wholesome, nourishing local food. By being a member you provide funds, creativity and support to the farmers who in return organize operations, work the earth, grow and harvest your food.
CSAs aim to focus on the production of high quality foods for a local community, often by using organic and biodynamic methods. It’s a shared risk membership–marketing structure. This kind of farming operates with a much greater degree of involvement from consumers, resulting in a stronger consumer-producer relationship. The core design includes developing a cohesive consumer group that is willing to fund a portion of the season’s budget in order to receive quality foods.
Since the majority of the farmer’s costs are at the beginning of each season, the early cash flow gets the ball rolling. The system has many variations on how the farm budget is supported by the consumers and how the producers deliver the foods, but the CSA concept is similar on each farm.
As a member, joining a CSA is a wonderful opportunity to expand your culinary horizons and expose your body and taste buds to a wide spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals. It’s also a great way to become familiar with your seasonal rhythms. By repeatedly supporting your CSA farmer, it allows you the member to slowly influence the farming operation by giving input and building a friendship with your farmer and connection with your food.