Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

The CSA model is relatively new in the United States, the concept having been brought to North America from Europe by Jan Vander Truin in the early 1980's.   Here is a succinct definition from USDA Alternative Farming Systems Information Center:
Community Supported Agriculture consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community's farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Typically, members or "share-holders" of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer's salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm's bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production. Members also share in the risks of farming, including poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests. By direct sales to community members, who have provided the farmer with working capital in advance, growers receive better prices for their crops, gain some financial security, and are relieved of much of the burden of marketing.

Share from our farm July 3, 2013
We had a really great experience interacting with our members last year.  It feels pretty incredible to be able to provide fresh produce for our friends/families in the community.  In addition to that honor, the CSA member fees allow us to purchase the seeds, supplies and equipment we need to get the season started, and determine our family budget for the year.  

 Share from our farm October 11, 2013

We realize the model is not for everyone, but here are some great reasons why it might be for you:
  • You put eating locally and seasonally, and supporting local farms high on your priority list
  • You cherish the thought of knowing your produce has traveled less than 50 miles and was most likely harvested just that day
  • You want to know that no dangerous chemicals or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are involved in the growing of your produce
  • You enjoy trying new vegetables and recipes throughout the growing season
Turnips and beets, washed and ready for the CSA bags...

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