Community Supported Agriculture

Zoe Dellaert

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What is CSA?

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an increasingly popular economic model. CSA is a way to bring together a community that is passionate about buying, eating, and sometimes even growing local, fresh, and sustainable foods. In this system, members pay upfront at the start of the growing season. Then, during the picking season, members receive a box of vegetables, fruits, and other goodies weekly or bi-weekly.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) | The Lexicon of Sustainability | PBS Food

Benefits for the Consumer

Community Supported Agriculture has many benefits:


  • You get to eat local and fresh foods every week
  • You learn how to cook vegetables that most people would never buy in the store (such as okra or eggplant)
  • You learn about and contribute to the process of farming sustainably
  • Forms a community passionate about sustainable eating
  • You get to meet the people growing your food and feel confident about the food on your plate
  • Offers local farmers a way to make a living while helping the environment
  • Creates jobs
  • Connects people with the process of agriculture
  • Teaches people to respect the earth and to be thankful to farmers

Are there risks involved?

Yes, CSA involves some risks for the consumer. The small organic farms that are most often the root of CSAs are not always as productive as "factory farms." Factors such as pests and weather can really take a toll on these farms. Some years, the crop yield will be less than others. However, this is natural. It is not natural for a farm to always produce tons of symmetrical vegetables each year. So, these risks can be seen as a positive learning experience. The consumer learns about the natural ups and downs of agriculture, and will learn to appreciate everything the planet does for us.

How does CSA benefit the environment?

  • CSA reduces people's impact on the environment because it reduces the need to import food
  • Organic farming reduces the amount of pesticides and antibiotics that enter our environment.
  • CSAs grow seasonal crops and use crop rotation. This is much better for the soil than planting the same crop year-round.

Works Cited

Works Cited

"Clagett Farm CSA." Clagett Farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Web. 21 Jan. 2015. <http://www.cbf.org/join-us/more-things-you-can-do/clagett-farm>.

"Community Supported Agriculture." - LocalHarvest. Web. 21 Jan. 2015. <http://www.localharvest.org/csa/>.

"Community Supported Agriculture: Love Your Local Farmer." - ParentMap. Web. 21 Jan. 2015. <https://www.parentmap.com/article/community-supported-agriculture-love-your-local-farmer>.

"Community-supported Agriculture." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 21 Jan. 2015. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community-supported_agriculture>.

"Jersey Fresh: Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program in NJ." Jersey Fresh: Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program in NJ. Web. 21 Jan. 2015. <http://www.njfamily.com/Jersey-Fresh-Join-a-Community-Supported-Agriculture-CSA-Program-in-NJ/>.

"Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Project in Cape Town | Urban Sprout." Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Project in Cape Town | Urban Sprout. Web. 21 Jan. 2015. <http://www.urbansprout.co.za/sas_first_community_supported_agriculture_csa_project>.