What is Community Shared Agriculture?

Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) isn’t a new concept or idea; it’s been around for several decades and comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In essence, a CSA program allows farmers to receive a set fee (from you – the consumer) for the growing season. In exchange, you receive a weekly share of freshly grown, local produce for you and your family to enjoy as well as sharing in the risks due to weather and other factors beyond our control.

In the community supported farm structure, every member of the relationship benefits: the shareholders, the farmers, the farms (the Earth), and the greater community. This is what separates it from the traditional farming method and why it is suited for an urban program like Young Urban Farmers CSA. Let’s look at how each party in the relationship benefits:
The Shareholders (that’s you the customers)
  • receive fresh, chemical-free vegetables and herbs delivered on a weekly basis, often harvested the morning of delivery – can’t get much fresher than that!
  • pay close to supermarket prices for local, organic produce
  • know where and how your food is grown, who grows it, and have the opportunity to partake in the miracle of growing food
  • are provided with a structure through which you can support viable local agriculture, preserve local land, and contribute to a healthy local economy
  • have the opportunity to gain knowledge of growing food and stewardship of the Earth
  • become more aware of their relationship to the land, farm life, and processes that make our lives possible
The Farmers (that’s us):
  • are given the opportunity to make a viable income by growing food in a responsible and harmonious way, directly supported by the consumer – no middleman
  • have the pleasure of knowing who their product is going to and consequently feel more care, responsibility, and reward in our work
  • are relieved of marketing labor and can focus more on growing food
The Farms:
  • stewardship of the land through sustainable farming practices
  • use of previously unproductive land
  • act as a hub for community involvement
The Greater Community
  • benefits by the preservation of urban space and adding to the diversity of communities, making them more whole and satisfying places to live
  • is strengthened by the bringing together of people who share healthy concerns about our future
  • gets an economic boost when food dollars remain within the community rather than supporting out of province corporations.

In conclusion,a CSA model allows for all parties involved to benefit from this relationship. It is a chance to reconnect with local food and make a difference in your community.