Community shared agriculture (CSA) isn’t a new concept or idea; it has been around for several decades and comes in all 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 risks due to weather and other factors beyond our control.
The Shareholders (that’s you, the customers):
- receive fresh, chemical-free vegetables and herbs on a weekly basis, often harvested the morning of pick-up – it doesn’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
- 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.
- are given the opportunity to make a viable income by growing food in a responsible and harmonious way, directly supported by the consumer (i.e. 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 labour and can focus more on growing food.
- gain stewardship of the land through sustainable farming practices;
- use previously unproductive land; and
- act as a hub for community involvement.
- benefits through 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.