Community Supported Agriculture

CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farms operate as partnerships between farmers and members of their surrounding community. CSAs are usually organized around small family farms producing high-quality, organically-grown produce. CSA members pay the farmer up-front at the beginning of the growing season, providing operating capital and sharing in the financial risks of the farm for the year. In return for their investment, members receive weekly “shares” of the crop throughout the harvest season. The quantity and quality of produce in each share is determined by the week’s harvest; early and late season shares are sometimes light, and peak-season shares can be quite abundant. The produce is usually delivered directly to CSA members by the farmer, bypassing normal food distribution channels; doing so provides better value and a fresher product for the consumer while also increasing profits for the farmer.

CSAs provide:

  • the peace of mind that comes with personally knowing who grew your food;
  • higher quality produce than what is available at supermarkets;
  • access to unusual, local products not available at supermarkets;
  • higher success rates and financial stability for small farmers;
  • mutually agreed upon upfront costs for both farmer and member;
  • greater efficiency and less food waste;
  • reduced air pollution because of local delivery; and
  • many other benefits.

You might be wondering what this has to do with cycling. Well, like cycling for transportation, participating in a CSA can be an important piece of the puzzle that is sustainable living.

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3 Responses to “Community Supported Agriculture”

  • Swizz... says:

    Sounds like a pretty good idea.

    The latest gardening craze over here in the UK at the moment is growing your own fruit & veg’, which is also useful given the rising cost of a weeks shopping. We also have weekly farmers markets in our neck of the woods which is another way of supporting sustainable farming and having access to more unusual produce.

  • Alan says:

    Hi Swizz,

    We’ve seen a proliferation of farmer’s markets here as well. The only drawback is that some of our farmer’s markets have grown so popular that commercial resellers have moved in and it’s not always clear that what you’re buying is actually locally produced or certifiably organic.

    Regards,
    Alan

  • dave koslow says:

    and taking it to its logical conclusion….
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Bicycle-Window-Box–For-the-transient-gardener./

    kOz

 
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