Community Supported Agriculture
What is the CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. The CSA is like a seasonal membership to the pool. You pay up front and can receive the pool's services throughout the entire season. In the CSA process, farmers offer up shares before the growing season to potential consumers who want fresh food. The people buy the shares(membership) and in return, get a basket of fresh farm foods every week during the farming season.
Advantages of the CSA
Farmers have an incredible difficult job and sometimes don't make much money if the harvest is bad. Therefore, being paid upfront for their vegetables helps them bring in money and keep themselves afloat. Also it gives the farmers an opportunity to sell their food before their long work days begin. Consumers benefit from this because they get the freshest possible foods directly from the farmers. Foods bought at the store have had chemical treatments so that they have a longer shelf life.
Just like normal shares in the stock market. The farming industry has many risks. Sometimes things don't work out and the end result is less than satisfactory. This means that sometimes the consumers will invest and end up losing money because the farmer couldn't produce and crops. The only positive aspect to this scenario is that the farmer has already been paid and will be able to make it through the non growing season.
Community Supported Agriculture - LocalHarvest. (n.d.). Local Harvest / Farmers Markets / Family Farms / CSA / Organic Food. Retrieved September 14, 2013, from http://www.localharvest.org/csa/