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Tag: What is a CSA farm

how does a csa farm work

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Community Supported Agriculture

What is a CSA farm?

A Guide to Community Supported Agriculture What are CSA farms? Community Supported Agriculture refers to a farming operation in which growers and consumers join forces to share the risks and benefits of food production.

How does a CSA work?

How does a CSA work? Every CSA can be different, as it all depends on how the farm sets up their own CSA program. CSA sign ups usually start at the beginning of the growing season (around April/May in New England).

How do CSA farmers get their vegetables?

The farmer lays out baskets of the week’s vegetables. Some farmers encourage members to take a prescribed amount of what’s available, leaving behind just what their families do not care for. Some CSA farmers then donate this extra produce to a food bank.

What is a CSA and should you buy one?

According to LocalHarvest.org, an online community for CSA farmers and customers, this approach to eating locally has been growing in popularity over the past two decades—just as consumers have become increasingly interested in organic produce and minimally processed foods. A CSA takes what you eat, quite literally, from farm to table.

What Are The Benefits Of The CSA?

Community Supported Agriculture is important because it connects farmers to consumers directly. It is beneficial to both the consumer and the farmer.

What does CSA stand for?

The acronym CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Rolls right off the tongue, eh?

Why do baskets vary each week?

Generally, baskets vary each week so that consumers do not get bored with their veggies.

What does a farmer do with their produce?

The farmer prepares the produce, either washed or not, into individual crates or bins.

Why do members pay upfront for vegetables?

Members typically pay upfront for a season’s worth of vegetables so that they are sharing the risks and rewards of the farm.

When does the consumer buy a share of a farm?

The consumer buys a share in the farm’s production at the beginning of the season, essentially partnering with the farmer and becoming members of the farm.

Is CSA the same as farmer’s market?

However, CSA’s typically start at around the same time as the Farmer’s Market, so you will most likely need to sign up beforehand.

What is a CSA?

At its core, a CSA is a way for consumers to buy local, seasonally fresh food directly from a farmer. Of course, people have been getting produce from local farmers for as long as there have been farms. The main innovation of the CSA is the way it distributes risk and reward among the entire community, including the farmer.

How does CSA work?

Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”), often well before the growing season. In return, members receive a CSA box (or bag or basket ) of seasonal produce each week throughout that particular farming season, which they may or may not be able to customize. Some CSAs offer different box sizes to accommodate varying family sizes or individual needs. While the box contains the harvest produce from that week, some CSA boxes also include the option to add other artisanal foods like bread, honey, cut flowers, soap, herbs, and in some cases, cheese or other animal products.

What is a multifarm CSA?

Multi-farm CSAs take risk- and benefit-sharing to the next level by creating a cooperative or other business arrangement in which a group of farmers get together to market, plan, harvest for, pack, and distribute a CSA box. This is great for small farmers who prefer to concentrate on growing a smaller number of crops really well instead of worrying about growing 50 different types of fruits and vegetables to satisfy the entire market. Consumers benefit as well, by getting a more diverse box than they would receive from a single farm. There is likely less risk for the customer because the products come from so many different farms, so if a couple of the farms experience significant crop losses, the successful ones will make up for them.

How do CSA members fund a farm?

Members fund the farm by paying their subscription fee in advance. And then they share equally in the harvest every week. CSA members drive to the farm at a set time to pick up their box. When the farm has a good year, the members become inundated in produce. The boxes vary depending on how the crops are doing.

What does CSA stand for in Japan?

And one of the main tools that can help you eat well in unstable times is the humble CSA. CSA stands for “community-supported agriculture. ”. It’s a model of farming, distribution, and marketing that began in Japan in the 1960s.

What is CSA risk sharing?

This means that one bad year will not bankrupt a local farmer, forcing them either to mortgage their future to a large industrial conglomerate or to sell outright and find another line of work. In essence, the community is protecting its small farms by guaranteeing farmers “living wage insurance.”

Why are potatoes rotting in fields?

Mountains of potatoes rotting in fields because there weren’t enough truckers to bring them to market. Millions of pounds of ripe tomatoes sagging on wilted vines for the same reason. Meanwhile, some supermarket shelves went empty. When the pandemic hit, it disrupted our food supply. But more seriously, it showed us how fragile and flawed our food supply chains are. Many consumers now understand that buying local isn’t just a nice idea or a virtuous gesture — it could be crucial to our ability to feed ourselves in a world that’s becoming less economically and geo-politically stable by the day. And one of the main tools that can help you eat well in unstable times is the humble CSA.

Who Can Start a CSA?

Producer-Initiated CSAs – the majority of CSAs are started by farmers interested in alternative marketing and strengthening their connection to consumers

How does CSA work?

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a production and marketing model whereby consumers buy shares of a farm’s harvest in advance. Consumers become CSA members by paying an agreed amount at the beginning of the growing season, either in one lump sum or in installments. The annual cost, generally ranging from $400-$700, depends on the length of the harvest season and the variety and quantity of products provided. This upfront payment helps buy the seed and other inputs needed for the season and provides the farmer an immediate income to begin the season. By paying at the beginning of the season, CSA members share in the risk of production and relieve the farmer of much of the time needed for marketing. This allows the farmer to concentrate on good land stewardship and growing high quality food.

What is an organization-initiated CSA?

Organization-Initiated CSAs – organizations such as businesses, churches, schools, etc. offer an existing community of consumers that forms a CSA

What is CSA statement?

Some CSA producers write a statement explaining that they will grow vegetables for a certain time period to the best of their ability under the conditions of that upcoming season, and that the members agree to share the risk and are expected to contribute their share price no matter what the season brings.

What are the best places to find CSA members?

Existing groups or communities (environmental groups, businesses, churches, community action organizations, health food stores, fitness centers, schools, civic organizations, etc.) are a perfect place to find members; use their meetings and newsletters as way to spread the word about CSA and recruit members

What is CSA farming?

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a production and marketing model whereby consumers buy shares of a farm’s harvest in advance. Consumers become CSA members by paying an agreed amount at the beginning of the growing season, either in one lump sum or in installments. The annual cost, generally ranging from $400-$700, …

What should be on a CSA brochure?

Brochures should explain the concept of CSA; the benefits of CSA; the story, vision, and goals of your CSA; what products members can receive (how, when, where); share price; how members can join; and whom to contact for more information

What is a CSA?

A CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture, is a relationship of mutual support between farmers and consumers. The consumer pays a membership, or sponsor fee, usually at the beginning of the growing season which supports the costs of operating a farm. The farmer, then in turn, provides the consumer with goods that are fresh and locally grown.

What should a farm include?

For example, some farms offer only vegetables in their CSA. While other farms might also include honey, jams, dairy products, eggs, meats, and freshly baked breads.

Why is CSA important?

Participating in a CSA is a great way to show your support for American agriculture. It also gives you the peace of mind knowing exactly where and how your produce was grown. This local touch is at the heart of the movement toward American made, or in this case, American grown.

Is it necessary to search for labels on food?

Knowing for sure that your food is local. There is no need to search for labels or find someone in the store to ask. Knowing for sure what fertilizers or pesticides (if any at all) are used on your food. Leaving less of a carbon footprint as there is little to no transport and packaging of goods.

How much does a CSA cost?

"Our Summer CSA program runs for 22 weeks, spring through fall, usually beginning in late May and running through the early weeks of October," says Esmee Elliott, who with her husband Todd, runs Hazelfield Farm in Kentucky. "We offer two size shares for the Summer CSA: $770 for full shares and $440 for half shares. We also offer a fall CSA that runs for 5 weeks, mid-October through November, and costs $125 per share ."

What is CSA food?

A CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture, matches small farms directly with customers who want fresh, seasonal food. According to LocalHarvest.org, an online community for CSA farmers and customers, this approach to eating locally has been growing in popularity over the past two decades—just as consumers have become increasingly …

What is CSA in gardening?

A CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture,

Why do people subscribe to CSA?

CSA subscribers not only have a reliable source for fresh produce, but they also feel a deeper connection to the folks who are growing what they eat. Kids learn where food comes from, and families have the confidence of knowing that what goes on their plates came out of the ground just a day or two before. In turn, small farmers get a bit of financial security. The subscription fees they collect up front fund their planting and growing operations, and they know how many customers to plan for—hence the name, Community Supported Agriculture. The community aspect appeals to customers and farmers alike. "It’s an added comfort, especially at the end of a dry two months with almost no rain at all, that our farmers aren’t taking this hit alone," says Ryan. "We’re helping each other, and I love that aspect of CSA subscriptions."

What is a small farm?

A small farm sells shares in its harvest to local customers. For a subscription fee that can vary depending on duration and quantity, a buyer can sign up to receive regular deliveries of fresh, seasonal produce. The farmer arranges a regular schedule where customers can pick up a package of newly harvested goods.

When is the best time to visit CSA?

Since many CSA operators also participate in farmers markets (which wind down in the fall), late summer or early fall is the perfect time to visit vendors and inquire about their programs. Growers typically solicit subscribers during the winter months so they can plan and purchase seed according to demand.

Can you eat tomatoes in May?

Recognize that eating seasonally means you won’t enjoy fresh tomatoes in May in colder climates. And know that part of belonging to a CSA means that you assume some of the farmer’s risk. If the lettuce crop gets munched by rabbits in the spring, then poof! There goes your salad plan for the week.

Farm Card Share

The online store will open each Wednesday at 8 PM and will close each Friday at 9 AM. Members will place their orders during that timeframe and then go to whichever location they chose during checkout to pick up their order during designated timeframes.

Memberships are limited, so join early to avoid getting shut out!

You can secure your membership by paying a deposit of $90.00 and paying the balance by May 28 . Once the deposit has been made, you may make subsequent payments in whatever amounts and frequencies work best for you, as long as the complete balance is paid by May 28. Our website is guaranteed as secure for accepting online payments.


Make a deposit: Click HERE to make a deposit hold your spot. Payment in full is expected by May 28.

What is shared risk in CSA?

Many times, the idea of shared risk is part of what creates a sense of community among members, and between members and the farmers. If a hailstorm takes out all the peppers, everyone is disappointed together, and together cheer on the winter squash and broccoli. Most CSA farmers feel a great sense of responsibility to their members, and when certain crops are scarce, they make sure the CSA gets served first.

What is CSA in agriculture?

For over 25 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.

Why do farmers receive payments early in the season?

Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow

What is a farmer’s share?

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.

Can a farmer deliver chickens to a CSA?

For example, a produce farmer might create a partnership with a neighbor to deliver chickens to the CSA drop off point, so that the CSA members can purchase farm-fresh chickens when they come to get their CSA baskets. Other farmers are creating standalone CSAs for meat, flowers, eggs, and preserved farm products.

Can CSA members be reimbursed?

If things are slim, members are not typically reimbursed. The result is a feeling of "we’re in this together". On some farms the idea of shared risk is stronger than others, and CSA members may be asked to sign a policy form indicating that they agree to accept without complaint whatever the farm can produce.

Do kids like food from their farm?

Find that kids typically favor food from "their" farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat