What is a CSA?
We are hearing more and more about something called CSA. But what is it? CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. This is becoming an extremely popular way to connect farmers straight to the customers. No more middle man. You can definitely see why this would be an attractive choice for many. But what exactly does Community Supported Agriculture mean and how is it beneficial? Today we will go over what is and why you want it!
What exactly is Community Supported Agriculture?
As mentioned above it’s a way to connect the customer right to the farm. It is an attractive socio-economical alternative that allows the farmer and the customer to share the risks of farming. It brings communities closer together.
How does a CSA work?
In the most simplistic of terms the customer buys shares of the produce. There is usually and annual or quarterly buy in, some even offer monthly or weekly memberships. They buy the shares in advance, this is how the farmer and the customer share the risks. As a reward for buying into the shares of the CSA the customer will receive a box of produce weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly depending on how many shares they bought into the CSA. Some farms offer a work for your box program, you invest a few hours into helping pick weekly and you get a box! It really brings the community together by fully investing in the success of your local farms.
Why does CSA work so well?
It works so well because many times farms need to make money early on in the season to make a really great harvest. When people are buying into the CSA they are providing that money to really help the farmers early in the season. As a benefit the farmers have a guaranteed market for their produce. Unless it’s a truly failed harvest then it works out well for everyone!
How is buying into a CSA beneficial?
There are so many reasons why someone would benefit from buying into a CSA! One great reason that we can all appreciate is farm fresh food. Farm to table is what it’s all about! The less our food is processed and moved around the better! When you buy into a CSA you are paying a lower price than you would if you were buying it all from a grocery store. Another great thing is that, many times, it gives you the opportunity to use fruits or veggies that you might not otherwise think of trying or buying. It expands your horizons with your fresh produce. Plus, it’s a great way to get organic produce at a reasonable rate if the CSA you buy into is organic.
Many times the farm that you buy shares may add items other than just produce. Many farms will add in canned goods, breads, eggs, and honey. Sometimes they will even add beautiful flowers and small plants for your home. Sometimes if there is a very strong CSA program they may even add meats into your share! Some CSAs will do year long programs and continue making other goods for every season.
There are many reasons that Community Supported Agriculture works so well! You should definitely consider looking into local CSA or if you are interested in buying land to start your own CSA give us a call!