What is a CSA?

A CSA (community supported agriculture) program is a food farming and distribution system where members buy shares in a farm’s harvest in advance.  The CSA model helps farmers earn capital early in the season and have a guaranteed market for their produce come harvest time.  Barring a disastrous harvest, members enjoy overall lower food costs and field-fresh produce.

When you become a member of a CSA, you pay for a share of an entire season of produce up front in the winter or early spring , and during the CSA season you pick your share of the farm’s fresh produce weekly or biweekly, depending on your membership, from a predetermined distribution site in or near your own neighborhood.

As is the nature of the CSA model, members are sharing in the rewards and risks of agriculture with the farmers.  Although the farmers aim to supply an ample quantity of many different vegetables and fruits, there is no guarantee that any specific fruit or vegetable, or any specific quantity, will be distributed.