By Craig Schill
What is Community Supported Agriculture?
Community supported agriculture (CSA) unites the members of a region around a common goal of ensuring that local, fresh produce is consistently available. Members in the community support the designated farmland either through shared labor or financial resources. This support is given in exchange for a specified allotment of produce throughout the harvest season.
CSAs form on an already existing farm, where the owner actively intends to produce for the benefit of the community. CSAs are not intended for substantial profit. Owners/operators and other community members join a CSA for the intrinsic value of making green lifestyle choices and the benefits they receive from them.
Why should I get involved with a CSA?
By joining a CSA, individuals ensure their own access to fresh produce, support local farmers, and help maintain an attractive community organization others might wish to join, enhancing the success rate for this type of agricultural model and for the city at large.
How can I get involved?
Because CSAs are intrinsically regional, every CSA runs its operations a little differently. With a little shopping around, you can find the right CSA that is eligible to you and your area, provides the produce you want, and requires the kind of support (labor, purchase, or investment, for example) that you want to give.
Photo courtesy of Cynthia Beck and Karen Coughlin