The CSA Option

Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: Early in the year a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public, based on expected harvest yield. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box, bag, or basket of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

 Advantages for farmers:

  • They get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their long 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

Advantages for consumers:

  • They 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
  • Find that kids typically favor food from “their” farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat
  • Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown
  • Help reduce the carbon footprint because of a shorter distance to transport the food than the typical food found in the supermarket and
  • support the local economy!

It’s a simple enough idea, and its impact has been profound. Across the country, tens of thousands of families have joined CSAs. If this idea appeals to you, a list of local CSAs is available on  Oregon Tilth.

Yamhill Valley Grown is NOT a CSA. The difference will be discussed tomorrow.

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About creationsbybg

Beth and Graham met online almost 20 years ago and married in 2007. Planning for retirement has included finding more time to play again and creativity is blooming. Now that we have moved to Oregon our time is split between exploring and creative endeavors. What fun! Following several years enmeshed in the local food movement in West Virginia and active involvement in the establishment and running of a year-round indoor local food market, visiting farms and telling consumers about them is a work of joy.
This entry was posted in consumer demand, CSA, farm, local economy, Local food and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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