An Abundance

It’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) season again in Northern California. Every year we look forward to the incredible abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables available this time of year through our CSA. If you’re not familiar with CSAs, here’s a little background…

CSA 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.

CSAs dovetail nicely into a car-lite lifestyle. Once a week, at a central drop-off point, subscribers receive their shares. The share container size is consistent throughout the season, making transporting by bicycle a breeze.

More Information

Local Harvest
CSAs @ Wikipedia
USDA Alternative Farming Systems

7 Responses to “An Abundance”

  • Brenn says:

    Thank you for posting this information. There are so many intertwined aspects of living responsibly and it’s great when that is recognized. “I am one person. I cannot do everything. But I am one person and I will do what one person can do.” Your site is wonderful!

  • bongobike says:

    We have something similar going in some state agency offices here in Austin. It’s called “Farm to Office”. Every couple of weeks an organic farmer delivers a basket of vegetables and fruit to each subscriber.

    Your photo is awesome–perfect lighting, beautiful colors.

  • Don says:

    We subscibe to a local CSA here in the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Last year was our first year. The CSA we subscribe to drops a container off at our doorstep once a week from the middle of June to the end of September. What a blessing it has been, high quality local fresh organic vegetable and fruits waiting on our porch when we get home, what could be better.
    And to top it off at the end of the season all the subscribers are invited to glean what is left in the fields. Highly recommended.

  • AJ says:

    My cycle truck is off getting a 3 speed rear wheel installed so that I can use it to go across downtown to pick up my CSA box via bike

  • Christie says:

    What a great idea! I chased up our Farmers Market Association here in Melbourne OZ, and they’re planning a similar thing to start next year! can’t wait – everyone wins!

  • Nicolas says:

    Very interesting information. I live in Rennes, Brittany (France) and there we set up what we call an AMAP (Association pour le Maintien d’une Agriculture Paysanne). It is equivalent to the CSA, and runs under a non profit organization status although the vegetables basket are directly paid by the consumer to the farmer. This ensures a regular revenue to the farmer whatever the weather risks are.
    I ride to the weekly delivery by bike and I try to make the other member do the same as coherence should be one of our key principles.

  • EcoVelo » Blog Archive » Grocery Shopping says:

    […] and a Pass & Stow front cargo rack. The front rack is used for things like bulk TP or our CSA veggie share (see photo above), while the rear panniers are used for all the usual heavier staple items. The […]

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