Community Supported Agriculture

By Vanshika Balayan

What are CSAs?

Community Supported Agriculture is a growing community of individual farmers who come together to form a sort of community farm. The idea of this community is to form a system where the farmers and the buyers work together and mutually get the best of the opportunities and costs of agriculture. The "shareholders" (members) of the CSA usually go through a pledging process that involved a promise to make up for the premeditated costs of farmer income and the operation costs of a farm. The farmers, on the other hand, return the favor by using their shares to provide food for the shareholders (Community Supported Agriculture).

Farmer Benefits

  • keeps small farms alive regardless of larger commercial farms
  • allows farmers to instill pride of their occupation within themselves because they get to teach consumers about what they do
  • financial security regardless of the chances of an unsuccessful harvest
  • they get to have some relaxation time where they sell their goods before having long days on the field
  • cash flows better because payments are received before harvest

(Community Supported Agriculture - LocalHarvest.)

Shareholder Benefits

  • extremely fresh food
  • opportunity to develop a relationship with the people who grow their food
  • new foods and ways to cook them are circulated throughout the community
  • less food with hormones and other artificial nutrients
(Community Supported Agriculture - LocalHarvest.)

Who doesn't like fresh grown veggies and fruits? :)

Shared risk

When a shareholder pays for their entire harvest season of food, they do not know whether disaster will strike and mother nature will cooperate or not. If something goes terribly wrong, such as a drought, then farmer output may not be enough. In this situation, the shareholders will lose money and the farmers will be left with the burden to properly compensate their farmers (Community Supported Agriculter: An Introduction to CSA).

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Community Supported Agriculter: An Introduction to CSA. (n.d.). Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association. Retrieved September 13, 2013, from

Community Supported Agriculture. (n.d.). Home | National Agricultural Library. Retrieved September 13, 2013, from

Community Supported Agriculture - LocalHarvest. (n.d.). Local Harvest / Farmers Markets / Family Farms / CSA / Organic Food. Retrieved September 13, 2013, from