Community Supported Agriculture
Morgan Edge- Ap Enviromental Science Project
What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)?
Community supported agriculture is a concept designed to encourage relationships between consumers and growers and for consumers to become more knowledgeable about the way their food is grown. A CSA addresses the concern that the average distance that food travels from farm to consumer in the United States is approximately 1,300 miles.
CSA is relatively new to the United States, Beginning in Massachusetts in 1986. In 2005, the CSA database reported over 1,150 CSA farms, with 15 of these in Kentucky. In early 2013, the same database listed 20 CSA farms in Kentucky. It has estimated that there are over 4,000 CSA farms in the United States today.
There are many advantages for CSA farms, which include:
Advantages for farmers:
- Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin
- Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm's cash flow
- Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow
- Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
- Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking
- Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season
- Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown