What is a CSA?

Have you heard the term CSA but wondered what it was all about.  Or maybe you know what a CSA is, but wonder what the advantages are.  The following is an excerpt from Local Harvest that explains well the advantages for both the farm and the client, click on the link to view the whole article.

Community Supported Agriculture

Thinking about signing up for a CSA but want to learn more about the idea before you commit? Read on.

Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

This arrangement creates several rewards for both the farmer and the consumer. In brief…

Advantages for farmers:

  • Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin
  • Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow
  • Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow

Advantages for consumers:

  • Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
  • Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking
  • Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season
  • Find that kids typically favor food from “their” farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat
  • Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown

Now that you have some CSA basics, you may wonder how it applies to our farm.  There are a few different ways you can support the farm which are similar to the CSA concept.  The most helpful and first step for us as a small sustainable farm is to know what to grow for the season.  To be able to plan or estimate the demand through early orders.  I am always happy to take your order over the phone at (765) 436-2186.  The next most helpful step is to pay for some or all of your order upfront.  This allows us to secure needed grains and supplies early in the season when the demand for funds is highest on the farm.  Both of these steps help ensure that the farm stays financially stable for years to come so that we can provide you the clean and healthy food you desire for you and/or your family.

New to our operation this year is an educational CSA.  This comes close to following the standard vegetable CSA format with one added addition.  On top of the available produce you will be signed up for weekly workshops covering a variety of sustainable living topics from gardening to canning to raising chickens.  For more information, contact Jessica.