What is a Farm Share/CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. CSA is a unique partnership between farms and consumers in which the consumers pre-pay a set amount in advance of the growing season, and in return the farmers provide a weekly share of the harvest. It is a community supporting their farmers in their efforts to grow healthful, nutritious food in a way that is environmentally responsible. It is also the farmers supporting their community with nutritionally superior, fresh, vibrant foods.
CSA membership has its rewards: learning to eat seasonally, trying new and interesting vegetables, feeling the rhythms of the growing season and developing a sense of connection to "your" farmers and their farms. You are helping to support farmers within a whole growing region; this is your "Foodshed." Your CSA produce is not shipped in on a truck from California. It is grown nearby--with care--by a farmer you know, and it is harvested fresh for delivery.
CSA is about building community and engaging citizens in taking responsibility for the land on which their food is grown. The farmer and the farm member share equally in the rewards and risks inherent in agriculture. Community Supported Agriculture brings together a farm and a community in a mutually supportive manner for the purpose of providing the freshest, most nutritious food from a viable local farm.
The environmental and social repercussions of our food choices are crucial to consider in a society where most food travels thousands of miles before it reaches our tables. Joining a CSA provides members of the community with a new voice in how their food is grown and how their food dollars are spent. As a CSA member you will be actively preserving local farmland as well as enjoying the freshest, most affordable produce that is harvested for you daily by your farmer.
Your weekly share will be comprised of vegetables grown in-season...so you may have to wait for that first juicy tomato or perfect ear of sweet corn. You may see unfamiliar vegetables in the Member's Choice basket (kohlrabi, fennel, pak choi, etc.). Try them, you'll like them! We provide recipes and make certain that members are introduced to unfamiliar items with recipes and plant descriptions via email.
Yes, members also share some risks, namely crop failures and weather-related problems. Both are inherent in farming. Our multi-farm structure, however, mitigates these risks as several farms can work together to make up for any losses that may occur.
CSA is a wonderful dance between farmers, consumers, and the larger community.