Community supported agriculture is an idea that is taking hold in farming. CSA denotes a community of people who pledge to support a farm so that the farmland becomes the community’s farm. This may or may not entail having a legal agreement. The growers and consumers provide mutual support and share both the risks and benefits of food production.
Usually members or share-holders of the farm commit that they will cover the cost of operating the farm including salaries. They in turn receive shares in the farms output through the growing season. The risks are shared by the investors. Most often these risks involve poor harvests due to bad weather or infestations by pests.
Since the output from the farm is sold directly to CSA members, the farmers receive better prices and do not have to spend as much on marketing and transporting goods. A potential win-win for consumers and farmers.
Most CSA’s have a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs. Often they will also provide eggs, meat, milk and items produced on the farm such as baked goods and jellies and jams.
Virtually all CSA’s adhere to environmentally sound farming practices. In addition, CSA farms are actively involved in their communities. The farms often offer tours, host pot luck dinners, sponsor events for children and offer educational programs for the community and schools.
You may want to check out community supported agriculture in your area. It is a good way to support your local farmers.