Community Supported Agriculture
What is CSA exactly?
USDA Definition of CSA: Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), one type of direct marketing, consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production.
Biodynamic Association describes further the areas of focus of CSA:
Community + Health + Ecology + Families & Fun + Learning + Seasons
Consumers and farmers work together on behalf of the Earth and each other. While the farmer is tending the Earth on behalf of others, consumers share the costs of supporting the farm and share the risk of variable harvests (and also share the over-abundance of a particularly fruitful years). Membership in the CSA is based on shares of the harvest. Members are called shareholders and they subscribe or underwrite the harvest for the entire season in advance. Each project handles this relationship in its own fashion. Every farm is different in length of season, crops grown, level of social activities and price they set for their shares. CSA is not about cheap food, which is usually neither nourishing nor grown with care of the environment in mind. CSA is about each of us being responsible. We encourage you to compare prices of a share at your local CSA to the supermarket’s “cheap food.”
Robyn Van En, an American organic farmer coined the term CSA in the 1980s. Robyn’s life was dedicated to establishing and supporting Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs in the United States. The DA BOX model of a CSA is a bit different from traditional CSA. 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. In addition to eating healthy, local produce, a CSA may inspire you to try new fruits and veggies you may otherwise not consider and is a fun way to experiment with new recipes!
A big mahalo to our local producers and members for contributing to local food security.