What is CSA?
“CSA” stands for Community Supported Agriculture, an alternative economic model of food production and distribution. In a CSA farm, eaters/consumers and farmers collaborate to help each other and the Earth. The farmers grow the food and steward the land on behalf of the consumers. The consumers, or farm members, pledge financial support of the farm at the beginning of the growing season. It’s a mutually supportive relationship where the farmers and members share the risks and benefits of food production.
With CSA, consumers become co-producers, investing in the farm – the farmers, the land, the community. Ideally, members or shareholders will continue to be a part of the farm for many seasons.
What are the benefits of joining the CSA farm?
- Eat fresh food, full of local flavor and nutrition.
- Exposure to new foods.
- Visits to the farm, knowledge from the farmers.
- Sense of ownership of the farm & participation in community with the farmers & other members.
Why are you operating as a CSA farm?
Farming requires a lot of money for start-up costs like land and equipment, and then there are operating costs like labor, insurance, seeds, fuel, feed, repairs, and a whole lot more. As first-generation farmers, we did not have a jump start with a family farm operation passed down from parents. While we are still young and able, we’re trying to achieve a sustainable farm system. We look to our community with shared values to be co-creators of our farm organism. It’s also more rewarding having this responsible relationship with the food, the people who eat our food, and the land on which we farm.
In 2011, the National Young Farmers Coalition surveyed 1,000 first-career farmers across the U.S. and found that 78% of farmers ranked “lack of capital” as a top challenge for beginners, with another 40% ranking “access to credit” as the biggest challenge. We are like a lot of these beginning farmers – it took us years to access land through multiple leases, local partnerships are vital, and we depend on CSA.
We ultimately believe in an agriculture-supported community – feeding people good food, providing rewarding jobs, and preserving the beautiful landscape – and community-supported agriculture can help achieve that.
“About CSA.” FairShare CSA Coalition. http://www.csacoalition.org/our-farms/about-csa/
“Community Supported Agriculture.” USDA NAL, Alternative Farming Systems Information Center. http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/csa/csa.shtml
“Community Supported Agriculture: An Introduction to CSA.” Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association. https://www.biodynamics.com/content/community-supported-agriculture-introduction-csa
“Community Supported Agriculture - What is CSA?” Soil Association. http://www.soilassociation.org/communitysupportedagriculture/whatiscsa
“CSA Resource Center.” Just Food. http://justfood.org/csa/csa-resource-center
Robyn Van En Center, a national resource center for Community Supported Agriculture http://www.wilson.edu/about-wilson-college/fulton/robyn-van-en-center/index.aspx
If you have any questions not addressed here, please contact us!