CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and describes a relationship between those who eat food and those who produce it. The movement began out of a growing desire for people to truly know and connect with where and who their food comes from – and to be a part of that process!
In a CSA’s most basic form, members of a farm purchase a “share” of that farm at the beginning of the season – a time when farmers’ costs for things like seeds, fencing, and feed are highest.
In exchange for their investment, members receive a share of the produce grown by the farm during the growing season – often a weekly distribution of fruits and vegetables (and sometimes eggs, meat, milk, etc). Members learn about the seasonality of their local crops and get to know some new fruits and vegetables along the way. And they share in the risks and rewards of the season (a rough year for the eggplant might yield a bumper crop of broccoli).
Most importantly, farmers and members are joined in a supportive and celebratory community, collaboratively participating in the kinds of agriculture – and value systems – they’d like to see continued.
As one of the first designated CSAs in the country, Community Farm continues to play a central role in the movement.