Community Supported Agriculture

It’s in virtually every city and town in America and growing like wildfire. It’s the CSA and they’ll be dropping your share around the corner from your house this spring.

Of all the topics that I am asked about and asked to write about, nothing comes even remotely close to questions about CSA’a What are they? Is it worth investing? How do I know which one I should trust, Which one is right for me? When should I start thinking about CSA’s?

First of all, CSA stands for community supported agriculture. In a nutshell, as payment for your financial investment in a CSA farm, you receive a weekly ‘share’ of vegetables, fruit, or meat that is grown locally by the farm you have decided to support. The variety in produce will change on a weekly basis depending on the harvest schedule ensuring that you’ll always have new and often fun thing to try regularly! An added benefit to the CSA is a guarantee of freshly picked produce that’s traveled a very minimal distance to get to your table.

Choosing your CSA is where most of your energy should go. It’s important to take your time and get to know your CSA farms and farmers. Though there have been a few CSA scams in the past (we were victims on one), most are legitimate and will go the extra mile to provide their investors with only the highest quality meats and produce available. Do your work. I have yet to meet a farmer who isn’t willing to talk about their farm, their work, their mission, and why they do what they do. Ask other people who have had CSA’s who they recommend. If someone had a good experience, they’ll tell you just as they would if they had a bad experience. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the farmer to see the farm. You’re investing your money, you have the right to see what you’re investing in. Remember what they say, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

So is it worth the investment of about $300? The answer is most of the time. Most farmers seem to be honest, hard workers who take great pride in what they do by providing for their community. More often than not, you will end up with far greater return on your investment than you would by going to the grocery store. I would take my time by looking trough the following links and doing the research to make sure you get a return on your investment.

Local Harvest
Local Harvest Forum

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One thought on “Community Supported Agriculture

  1. Nice article on CSAs. I really like working with the farms that focus on CSA rather than the markets as it appears to take so much of their energy. Of course, if there aren’t enough participants, the market becomes necessary.

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