Community Supported Agriculture

Neel Bhatnagar

Introduction

Community supported agriculture also known as community-shared agriculture (CSA) is an alternative to "supermarket produce". CSA is a locally based model of food distribution. CSA also refers to an association of individuals who have said that they will support one or more local farms. What this means is that the producer and the consumer with share the risks and benefits of food production.

Benefits of CSA

1. Fresh, locally grown produce

2. Saves money

3. Saves time

4. Relationship with your farmer

5. Special deals

6. Higer understanding of produce and seasonal produce

Cons of CSA...?

Now obviously with every idea there are negatives to this idea, or cons. Some of the cons to being part of a CSA is that: "you get what you get". This meaning whatever your specific farmer produces is what you will get. You cannot get a fruit or vegtable that your farmer does not produce because you already pleged to this farmer. A second con is with the produce, you will have to clean and prep everything. Sometimes the produce will be dirty and you will have to clean them in order to eat them safetly, which costs time.


These "problems" are not necessarily bad for the consumer as there are ways around them. For the problem where there is not a variety of produce; if you are in a CSA with a farmer the farmer directly deals with the members in the CSA; this meaning the farmer will listen to your needs and wants, so in a way you do get a variety of producec just not right away. The response to the second con is that yes sometimes the produce will be dirty but all you have to do is wash them and there clean. In all honesty when we go to a supermaket to buy produce when we come home we naturally wash them off anyway to get all the preservitives off the produce that supermarkets put on their produce to keep them "fresh". Oh, and that's another thing, supermarkets use harmful preservatives on their produc, while CSA farmers don't.