COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a farm model that allows people to be more directly involved with their food choices. You essentially become a member of the farm by paying for a share of the farm's production prior to each growing season. We use the money from the members to buy the seeds, transplants, and other inputs we need for the growing season, and pay their farm labor without waiting until harvest to generate revenue. Then, you get a share of what is harvested each week during the season.
CSA members receive a share of the produce from the farm while also sharing in the risk of crop failure or pest or disease problems with the farmers. Members realize that a refund will not be issued in the event that no crops are harvested. If a crop is lost or is of poor quality, the farmer, with the support of the members, is able to continue to operate. We do our best to manage problems with proper planning and risk management strategies. In addition to the financial support each season, we enjoy a long-term relationship with our members, and look forward to people renewing their memberships each year.
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A CSA addresses the concern that the average distance that food travels from farm to consumer in the United States is approximately 1,300 miles. Another advantage of obtaining food locally is that the money stays within the local community while also providing the freshest and healthiest food available.
CSAs began to develop on the East Coast of the United States in the mid-1980s. Today, it is estimated that between 30,000 and 50,000 U.S. consumers belong to a CSA. Examples of CSAs range from smaller operations with three to twenty members to larger CSAs with hundreds of members.