Community Supported Agriculture

By Nicholas Dillard

What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)?

CSA refers to farmers who send baskets of vegetables or meat to members of the community who "subscribe" to their farm. Community Supported Agriculture took off in America around the early 1980's and has grown ever since. The lists below describe some of the advantages and disadvantages of Community Supported Agriculture.

Advantages

http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ lists multiple advantages to Community Supported Agriculture.



- Farmers get to spend their time marketing the food from the beginning.

- Farmers get pain earlier in the season, which allows for more improvements along the way

- Farmers have the opportunity to know the patrons of their farms.


- Consumers eat fresher food

- Consumers become exposed to a variety of vegetables each week

- People generally favor their farms food, even if they have never been fond of the food in the first place



Disadvantages


http://www.localharvest.org/csa/


The website above talks about the main disadvantage of CSA. Community Supported Agriculture involves a risk component that consumers must face. What happens if a farm is over taken by a disease? Will consumers be compensated? The answer is NO because consumers typically pay up front for CSA produce. While some people fear this risk, some view it brings the community together because it incorporates the idea that "we are in this together" which can encourage a stronger community feeling.


http://foodshedguide.org/decisions/markets/csa


The source listed above describes how certain families do not know how to prepare some seasonal crops included in the food basket. However, this is not necessarily a disadvantage because it gives families an opportunity to learn more cooking recipes! This goes along with the idea that Community Supported Agriculture is an enlightening experience, not only for the community, but for the individuals.

How to join a CSA Community near you?

Please visit http://www.gardens.com/local/csa/ to join the CSA near you! Just enter your zip code and enjoy a whole new enlightening experience.