What is CSA?
CSA is not a marketing model or a business scheme, it is a
way of life. Community Supported Agriculture has become a nationwide movement that brings small farmers and consumers closer together.
The CSA concept is often credited to farm models established in Japan and Europe during the 1980s, but as Natasha Bowens has noted in an article published by Mother Earth News, there is an overlooked story rooted in Black history: that of Dr. Booker T. Whatley, a sustainable agriculture pioneer and professor at Tuskegee University, who was developing what we now call CSA
as early as the 1960s and 1970s.
As a CSA member, the relationship to your farmers and CSA community cannot be understated. There are many ways to get food; choosing to join a CSA means a commitment to eating seasonally and locally-grown food, as well as investing in small family farms.
A Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program is a
two-way relationship created by the purchase of a “share” in the annual harvest of our farmers. Our farmers provide fresh organic produce throughout the summer growing season. In turn you, the CSA members, make a financial commitment to the farms in the spring, and share in the harvest through the summer into early autumn. This creates a market for our local organic farmers, and provides CSA members a source of fresh, locally grown organic produce. Partnering together, farmers and members share the risks and rewards of each year’s harvest.
Learn how Community Supported Agriculture programs are improving financial stability for farmers, mitigating food deserts in urban areas, and increasing access to fresh food for all in this PBS video.
Visit LocalHarvest.org for more CSA information and resources:
Tips for Potential CSA Members
Questions You Might Ask Your CSA
Did you know that 80 BILLION pounds of food is thrown away each year in the US. That’s equivalent to 1,000 Empire State Buildings! Most of this food ends up in the landfill where it becomes the largest single component that takes up space inside all US landfills. By simply choosing to invest in a community supported agriculture program, you’re already committing to lowering your food waste by taking dollars out of commercial farming pockets where 1/3 of produce is either lost or wasted. By choosing a CSA, you’re redirecting your support to less wasteful produce models! Additionally, CSA programs tend to be cheaper than buying similar organic produce at the grocery store since we cut out the packaging and shipping costs. All produce is locally grown and harvested with love to share within our community!