What is C.S.A.?

Community Shared (or Supported) Agriculture is a model of sharing food that connects food eaters to those who grow it.

How does it work?

People commit to paying for a season of vegetables (20 weeks for Summer, 10 weeks for Autumn, 10 weeks for Winter, and 10 weeks in Spring) in exchange for a share in the bounty of the garden throughout the growing season

Why?  What are the benefits?

  • This helps the farmer by covering costs of production when they are incurred, before the season starts
  • This helps the people who are members in the CSA because they have a direct connection to their food, they can respect the ecological and social dynamics under which their food is grown; they know where their food comes from, how it was grown, and who grew it.
  • CSA Members get access to special veggies that are otherwise unavailable to our farmers’ markets and wholesale clients.
  • Over the course of a full season, CSA Members have consistently received better value for their produce than if they were to buy everything at market value.
  • CSA members are invited to a spring open house and mid-summer barn party at the farm – a great way to tour the gardens and see where all the magic happens!

 

HISTORY

  • This model is thought to have originated in Japan, where women, concerned with the amount and quality of imported food, as well as with the health of the land in their home communities and the health of their families, began a model of supporting growers to ensure they could access fresh food that was grown locally.  This system of reciprocity was known as Teikei and started in the mid-1960′s.
  • It has since spread across the globe, with early CSA`s starting in Massachusetts in the 1990’s, and spreading throughout the great lakes region and beyond

You can find more CSA’s and more info about them at the Ontario CSA Farm Directory

One thought on “What is C.S.A.?

  1. Hi Jim,

    Great questions – while both shares vary throughout the season as whats available varries, a small share early in the seaoson may look something like this:

    1 head lettuce
    1/2 lb spinach
    1 bunch radishes
    1 bunch green onions
    1 pint sugar snap peas
    1 bunch herbs

    Whereas a full would be:

    2 heads of lettuce
    1/2 lb spinach
    1 bunch radishes
    2 bunchs green onions
    2 pints of sugar snap peas
    1 bunch herbs

    Later in the season it may look like this:

    Small
    1/2 lb mixed salad greens
    1 bunch kale
    1 qt. tomatoes
    1 bunch carrots
    1 bunch herbs
    3 onions

    Full
    1 lb mixed salad greens
    1 bunch kale
    1 qt tomatoes
    2 bunches carrots
    1 bunch herbs
    3 onions
    2 zucchini

    Another way to put it is a small is roughly a $20 market value, and full is $30. Once we start (typically late May) its every week which takes us until around Thanksgiving. Also, you get to trade any items you want each week to personalize your share – so lots of flexibility.

    The small share is $400 and a full is $560.

    Let me know if you have any other questions,

    Mike

    Like

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