Community Shared Agriculture (CSA – sometimes called Community Supported Agriculture) is a way of producing food or getting access to food that focuses on the relationship between farmers and eaters. In this partnership, the farmers will commit to using their knowledge, passion and expertise to produce delicious and healthy foods using agreed upon production practices. In return the eaters agree to purchase a certain amount of the food produced from the farm and agree to bear some of the risk involved in producing the food (related to weather, disease, and other factors beyond the farmer’s control).
The added benefit of the CSA model is that it helps the farmer get access to capital to invest into the farm. In today’s world, it is quite difficult for small-holder farmers to obtain loans to grow food for the local market. By purchasing a CSA share at the beginning of the season, you are helping the farmer cover some of the early season expenses.
Get to know your Food
By participating in a CSA, you will get the opportunity to know and learn about your food much more intimately than purchasing it at the grocery store. As a member of the CSA you are encouraged to visit the farm and participate in CSA activities that will help you learn more about the farm, and the way the food is produced and how that relates to healthier food, stronger communities, a happier ecosystem and a greener planet.