From Farm to Fork: Community Supported Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a simple concept created to support farmers and provide communities with sustainable nutrition.

What is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farm?

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a local food option that enables shareholders to participate in a mutually beneficial relationship with farmers. Shareholders commit in advance of the growing season and purchase annual shares of the produce that is grown on the farm. The fresh produce is allocated differently depending on the farm but can range from weekly, bi-weekly and monthly. CSA’s give the shareholder access to fresh, nutritious produce all while strengthening the rural economy and supporting regional food security.

What is the purpose of a CSA?

The purpose of a CSA is investment. It includes risks and rewards of food production. Joining a CSA provides the local farm with upfront finances to begin their growing season, giving them assurance that they can financially sustain themselves. The tangible return on the investment is a share of healthy, locally grown produce while the intangible return on the investment is local food security.

What is the advantage of joining a CSA vs. the grocery store?

Those involved with a CSA are in support of a more deeply connected food system, keeping it sustainable and affordable for families. CSA’s are a great way to learn more about where your food comes from and get to know the farmers who produce it. CSA’s support seasonal eating and make it easier for people to experience new types of vegetables and herbs. Sometimes people are happier when they have less choice. Participating in a CSA is a chance to not think about what’s for dinner. Instead you pick up your CSA box, and work backward from there, it encourages people to get into the kitchen and try new recipes. In return, it provides a more enjoyable way to prepare and eat food. Buying produce at a grocery store can have a much larger environmental footprint than participating in a local CSA box. With no packaging and minimal transportation, your food gets to your table with a far smaller footprint than store-bought food. Not only will does it shrink a person’s individual environmental footprint but it contributes to the greater community and small local farms as well!

If you’re looking to join a CSA, visit your local farmers market or a local farm and ask more about how you can be more involved.