What is a CSA?
The USDA defines a CSA as: "Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a direct-to-consumer marketing arrangement that permits household consumers to purchase advance shares of a farm’s production in return for regular (usually weekly) deliveries during the growing season. CSA operations have experienced a dramatic rise in popularity in the United States during the past several years, expanding from an estimated 60 operations in 1990 to approximately 3,600 operations as of mid-2010."
A CSA is like a subscription program for items produced by a local farm and made available to the community. In brief, you agree to buy a “box” of produce each week from the farm. Sometimes you can choose what’s in the box, but often times you must accept what the farm has to offer that week. CSAs are a good way to experiment with different kinds of foods which you may not be familiar with.
We are currently evaluating what options, if any, we will offer for 2013. Please feel free to comment.
Why are CSAs important?
CSAs are important for farms because they allow the farm to plan for a specified number of individuals. We order seed and natural soil amendments which are expensive. We have to pay our staff. Advance payments help us meet these expenses before the produce is actually ready to sell. Since you have prepaid for your subscription, then you don't have to worry about paying for your deliveries each time.
You can also look at it, if you want, as a gym membership. People join fitness programs and pay money toward a membership. This in turn helps to encourage them to exercise so they don't waste their money. Joining a CSA ensures that you have a steady stream of fresh, naturally grown produce coming into your home on a regular basis--thus helping you and your family to "eat your veggies."
You and your family are supporting local agriculture, and getting good nutrient dense produce. We depend on you for your support, and you can depend on us!
Make sure your CSA is real.
Not all boxed deliveries are actually CSAs. Some are businesses that redistribute wholesale produce. Think about the term “Community Supported Agriculture.” It’s community members supporting local farmers. If it comes from far away, it’s not local. Ask before you buy.