Monday, May 21, 2007
Celebrating our CSA
Our CSA held a potluck muffin get-together to start the season. What a joy to be out at Red Wiggler's farm on such a beautiful day, meet some of the farm managers and workers (developmentally disabled adults), get to sample some of their tender new asparagus, and eat assorted delicious muffins.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a simple way both to support local farmers and provide your family with healthy, fresh, locally grown vegetables. In a CSA, individuals purchase a share of a farm’s coming crop. To become a shareholder, one pays up front for the entire season. In our area, the cost of a CSA share ranges from about $20 to $40 for each week of the harvest. CSA members receive a share of each week’s crop. Share size varies from farm to farm, usually providing enough vegetables each week for at least two adults.
Through a CSA, community members and farmers enter into a partnership. Pre-paid shares provide the farmer with the working capital needed to get the season started at a time when revenue might otherwise be slim. CSA members share the risks and rewards of the season with the farmer. Cool spring nights may lead to a bumper crop of strawberries and a slow start for the corn.
By working directly with the farmer, CSA members improve the sustainability of local farming both economically and environmentally. Most CSA farms practice sustainable non-corporate farming styles such as organic, "ecoganic," and biodynamic farming. By eating foods produced locally, CSA members further promote sustainability by cutting down on the distance their food needs to be transported.
CSAs build community as they encourage us to develop a relationship with the people who grow our food. Many CSAs hold pot-luck suppers, produce newsletters, and encourage members to visit the farm.
You can learn more about local CSAs at Local Harvest and Future Harvest.