Joining a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program enables you to form a relationship with the farmer who grows your food. It also allows you direct access to fresh, local produce without having to do the planting, watering, weeding or harvesting. It’s a great way to support our local economy, to try new fruits and vegetables and to gain an understanding of the seasons and what grows in our area.
HOW DO CSA PROGRAMS WORK?
The foundation of a CSA program is the two-way commitment between the member and the farmer. Consumers join CSA programs by purchasing a share of the season’s harvest in advance of the growing season. This commitment provides the farmer with a secure customer base. The farmer then commits to providing members with high-quality produce.
Farmers and members share in the inherent risks of farming—the uncertainty associated with the weather and other unforeseen or uncontrollable circumstances. That can include a bug infestation, for example, which can affect crops and thus the contents of a member’s weekly share. In good seasons, members may receive more produce; in challenging years, they may receive less.
CSA shares may include a mixture of additional products, along with information such as recipes and event information. From time to time, some CSA shares also include flowers, herbs and products like bread, cheese, honey and jam. Check with your farmer to see what other exciting locally made products may be included in or added to your share.