Community Supported Agriculture
The year 2020 brought sweeping changes to day to day life for all of us and the produce team here at DA BOX saw our membership more than double. That jump reflected a surge of interest in local food programs across the country in response to the pressure that the pandemic put on our supply chains and mobility.
So what is a CSA exactly? CSA stands for community supported agriculture. The term was coined Robyn Van En in the 1980s to describe a model in which community members bought into shares of a farm at the beginning of a season, with money and sometimes with labor, sharing the risk and responsibility, as well as the yields of farming.
Our model of a CSA is a bit different, the Food Basket is able to leverage its purchasing power and resources as an established non-profit to pay farmers their asking price for produce and sell it to consumers at an even lower price, keeping produce affordable and increasing small farm viability. Robyn Van En said that community supported agriculture should be coupled with agriculturally supported communities. We certainly have felt supported by our amazing local farmers, and of course by you, the community, for making conscious choices about how you leverage your own purchasing power. A CSA may also inspire you to try new fruits and veggies you may otherwise not consider and is a fun way to experiment with new recipes.
If you love the idea of CSA, please investigate other, more traditional CSAs on the island. There are quite a few local farmers who are operating their own direct farm to consumer CSAs specializing in veggies, fruits, and even local meat and eggs. Mahalo to you and to all of the folks providing us with delicious food during uncertain times!