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
  • People commit to paying for a season of vegetables (roughly 5 months for the Summer CSA and 3-4 months for the Winter CSA) in exchange for a share in the bounty of the garden throughout the growing season
  • 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

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, 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, and spreading throughout the great lakes region and beyond

2 thoughts on “What is C.S.A.?

  1. Could you please let us know what quantities and cost are involved with the CSA program. There are two of us in our household with guests every few weekends, so we’d want to determine whether the program could make sense for us.

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    • 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

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