Community Supported Agriculture

Created by Robert Haynes

A little History about CSA's

In 1984, Jan Vander Tuin brought the concept of CSA to North America from Europe. He later introduced the idea to Robyn Van En at Indian Line Farm in S. Egremont, Massachusetts and the CSA concept in North America was born. Today, the CSA concept has spread across the nation, where more than 1,000 CSA's feed around 150,000 people.

What is CSA?

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It allows city residents to have direct access to high quality, fresh produce grown locally by regional farmers. For more than 25 years, CSA has been a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Other CSAs may offer more than just fruits and vegetables. Eggs, honey, flowers, and even poultry and other meats can be part of a CSA program.

Benefits of CSA's

Some benefits for farmers are that they get a chance to market their food to consumers earlier in the season, before they begin their harvesting. Most importantly, they receive payment for crops in the beginning of the season, which provides money when they need it in order for planting and other preparations.

Risk of CSA's

In highly-urbanized zones, CSA-farms aren't very successful. This is due to the presence of supermarkets, and the difficult to change habits of the people living there. On the other hand for consumers, even though they are given a say in what is grown, there is a large possibility that the amount they receive will be less than they expected.