In it’s most basic sense a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program is a direct relationship between shareholding members and local farmers. CSA members reserve a share of and pay in advance for the produce a farmer grows. Advance funding and sharing the risk that comes with weather, water and wildlife challenges decreases the need for loans that raise food costs and all in all helps create a more financially stable farm operation. In return members get ultra fresh, locally grown produce, with all the flavor and nutrition benefits. The value is equal and often better than other sources and their money goes back into the local economy.
- Know Your Farmer- You have the opportunity to meet your farmer and see the production of your family’s groceries.
Ellen and I love the produce we get from Chris and Ron’s CSA,Herb and Plow Farm.
- Value- Shares often include specialty produce that’s expensive or hard to find. Long distance expenses are much less so CSAs can concentrate on other qualities, so you get better produce for the same dollar.
- Local – The average produce travel distance is 1,500 miles. Buying locally grown produce keeps money and jobs local and increases freshness.
- Conservation – Just 100 CSA members can save about 100,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year compared to supermarket crops. Sustainable planting methods help improve soil and maintain the local watershed. Integrated, low or no toxicity pest management minimizes the chance you’ll get something you don’t want with your produce.