Community Supported Agriculture

Bringing Communities Closer with Farming

A Service Provided by Farmers for the Community

Community Supported Agriculture or CSA, is a new up and coming method that local farmers use to sell their crop directly to the consumer.

How It Works

Farmers sell a share or subscription to a consumer like you. The fee can be from $100-$600 per season, (Community Supported Agriculture, 2012) and every week the farmer supplies local produce to the buyers. Some farms have lists of the week's produce, and the consumer picks the quantities of what they want from that list. Other times the produce is picked for the consumer. After the consumer has their produce picked out, the produce is boxed and either delivered to the consumer or the consumer takes the products from a farmer's market, taken them directly from the farm, or from another meeting place. (Local Harvest, 2012)

Why It's Good

Community supported agriculture is beneficial in many ways. CSAs advocate more environmentally friendly methods of farming, such as crop rotation or soil maintenance. Many farms also pledge not to use herbicides or pesticides. The direct method of selling also removes the costs of shipping and handling that supermarkets have to pay for, as well as reducing greenhouse emissions from fossil fuels. The farms even help create jobs working the farms. Finally the consumers and farmers get to know each other better and it works to bring communities closer together. The organic produce is also much cheaper than the organic foods from groceries, and encourage sustainable farming and food supplies. (Sustainable Food Revolution, 2012)

Not Just Fruits and Vegetables

Farms participating in CSAs don't just grow fruits and vegetables; many of them also offer dairy products, poultry products, beef, pork, lamb, honey, jams, jellies, and preserves. Other farms may offer baked goods or fresh flowers.

What's in the Box?

CSA farms produce a long list of goods, from fruits and vegetables, to cheeses and baked goods. The products received by the consumer vary greatly depending on region, weather, and season. The region plays a large role in deciding what crops will be grown, for example, if you live in Florida or a sub-tropical climate, you might receive oranges (Morton, J, 1987). If live in northern states, such as New York, you may receive raspberries in your box because of the cooler climate (Raspberry, 2013). Some CSAs even include recipes for stews, preserves, jams, sausages, etc. so that the consumer may use all of the products received.

National Growing Zones

Community Supported Agriculture in Durham

Residents of Durham, North Carolina, are offered many different farms to choose from when it comes to CSAs. Particular among them is Brinkley Farms, a family owned farm offering CSAs and a variety of products. A family box at $315 will supply a family with produce every week for 15 weeks. Brinkley Farms and others like it often have the pick up locations at local farmer's markets and food co-ops.

Works Cited:

Community Supported Agriculture, (2012). Retrieved 9/9/2013 from

Local Harvest. (2012) Retrieved 9/9/2013 from

Sustainable Food Revolution. (2012) In: Sustainable Food Revolution. Retrieved from

Morton, J. (1987) In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL Retrieved from

Raspberry. (2013). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from