The conversation usually goes as follows. Me: You want some peaches they’re from Upstate? I have extra ones from my CSA. Friend: Yea! What’s a CSA?
The Acronym CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and exists as a mutual support and commitment between local farmers and community members who pay the farmer an annual membership fee to cover the production costs of the farm. In turn, members receive a weekly share of the harvest during the growing season. The quality of the produce coupled with the great price makes belonging to a CSA community a rewarding experience.
It works like this, a customer becomes a member by making a payment to a particular community center that is in touch with the farmer that supplies the fruits and vegetables. Once you are a member you share in the season’s bounty by picking-up your weekly produce at a local drop off spot. An allocation averages around $900 for a full share and $700 for a half share. A full share gets you about 20-30 pounds of fruits and vegetables a week. It pretty much takes over your entire refrigerator! Once you are a member you share in the season’s bounty by picking-up your produce at a local drop off spot. As a shareholder, you become allies of the farm and the agriculturist you support. By sharing in the harvest, you provide a dependable market which allows the farmer to do what he/she does best: farm.
When joining a CSA you have a direct relationship with the farmer that grows your food. You can even visit the land where your fruits and vegetables are grown. As a shareholder, your food dollar is maximized for you, the land, the environment, and the agriculturist. It is a win-win situation.