Community Supported Agriculture
Community Supported Agriculture began over 35 years ago in Europe and Japan when consumers concerned about food safety banded together to purchase food in buying groups. Today over 500 CSAs operate in the United States and Canada.
At the heart of each CSA farm's mission is the partnership between producers and consumers, an ideal long embraced by American Farmland Trust. More investors spread farm risk and aids in crop diversity - the typical CSA farm offers between 20 and 40 varieties of vegetables and herbs. This helps improves soil.
CSA farms make liberal use of sustainable farming practices, such as crop rotation, using manure rather than purchased chemical fertilizer, composting and integrated pest management (IPM). IPM blends a variety of methods such as field scouting and use of "predator" bugs into a total farm approach to control insects, weeds, and plant diseases.
Why is Community Supported Agriculture Important?
- CSA's direct marketing gives farmers and growers the fairest return on their products.
- CSA keeps your food dollars in the maintenance and establishment of regional food production.
- CSA creates a sense of social responsibility and stewardship of local land.
- CSA puts "the farmer's face on food" and increases consumer understanding of how, where, and by whom our food is grown.
- CSA encourages communication and cooperation among farmers and consumers.
- With a "guaranteed market" for their produce, farmers can invest their time in doing the best job they can rather than looking for buyers.
- CSA supports the biodiversity of a given area and the diversity of agriculture through the preservation of small farms producing a wide variety of crops.
- CSA creates opportunity for dialogue between farmers and consumers.
Risk is a factor in any business but in farming, financial risk seems greater than in most businesses because one is totally subservient to the whims of mother nature. When one joins a CSA, it is a declaration of the importance of knowing the origin of one's food while accepting some of that risk. By paying up front, the CSA subscriber shares with the farmer the risk that a certain percentage of the crops planned in advance might be failures. This is advantageous to the farmer because he is assured of a certain income even if he doesn't have 100% crop success. The CSA arrangement is advantageous to the subscribers because they are assured of a steady, weekly supply of clean produce, accepted with the knowledge that the produce is grown free of chemicals, that they can visit the farm where the produce was grown and that their money is staying in the local economy.
To our members, we guarantee you will receive fresh, naturally grown, produce grown using methods ensuring the highest nutritional value possible.