What is
Community Supported Agriculture
(CSA)?

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is direct mutual support between farmers and consumers. Farmers support a community of members, and consumers support a local farmer.

(We use the terms Vegetable Share, Flower Share, and Seedling Share to describe our CSA programs, as those terms are more recognizable than “CSA”.)

 
 
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How farmers support consumers (their members):

  • Farm on behalf of their members, using growing practices their members value
  • Plant, tend and produce a diversity of crops that will be available to their members throughout the harvest season
  • Harvest and pack the best produce from their field each week for their Share members – food that is truly fresh
  • Continue to learn and implement new strategies that will increase the quality of their harvests – food that is more delicious and nutritious
  • Grow food without pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc – food that is health-promoting
  • Provide recipe ideas, cooking tips, food storage tips, etc

There are many options for CSA programs, so consumers can (and should) choose a farm with values that they believe in (eg, growing methods, the variety of produce grown), and CSA features that are a good fit for their family (eg, pickup options, flexibility, size of share, the level of support that is offered, etc.)

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How consumers support a farm:

  • Commit to purchase from a farm for the season; pay a deposit for their membership early in the year that helps provide working capital when farmers need it most (for seeds, supplies, equipment, infrastructure, labour)
  • Deal directly with a farm (no middlemen involved); more equitable returns for the farm
  • Share in the risk of farming by agreeing to receive a variety of what’s in season, even if certain crops are less plentiful due to weather or other factors beyond the farmer’s control

Community Supported Agriculture is a way for consumers to support the kind of farming / food production they want to benefit from, and for farmers to provide nourishment directly to people who value the quality and integrity of what the farmer produces.

 

It’s a re-localizing of the food economy. A re-establishing of community. A re-storing of quality and integrity in food production.