Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a popular way for consumers to get their produce. What is it? Well a CSA is basically like buying a share in a farm. In return for your payment you get a portion of the produce in return. This type of system is beneficial for both the farmer and the consumer. The farmer gets money early in the season to help with cash flow. The farmer does not have to wait till the end of the season to get paid, so they are more relaxed and can focus on growing awesome produce. Plus, it brings community back to the farm. The farmer meets the consumer and has interaction with them, to know what to grow. The consumer gets to meet the person that is growing their food and also gets farm fresh produce delivered right to their door every week.
Is there risk? This system involves a little shared risk. If the farm has a bounty then you will have huge returns. If there is a drought or swarm of locust that kill half of the crop you get less. This one concept with be the turning point in you joining a CSA. For me, it is worth the risk.
Most of the CSA’s are filling up fast, but there is still an opportunity to get into one.
To learn more about CSA’s or to find one near you check out local harvest. Local Harvest provides a directory for most of the CSA’s in the US. Punch in your zip code and find a CSA near you.
FYI – I signed up for the Bull Run Mountain Farm CSA. A major factor in choosing the CSA was the delivery location. Bull Run delivers vegetables weekly to a bunch of DC area locations. Plus they show the share history on their website. They offered vegetables and herbs for 20 weeks last year. To see the Bull Run shares for the 20 week season last year. Check them out here.
This summer I will be cooking a lot with my CSA bounty. Each week I am going to list off the contents of my CSA bounty and I will come up with some creative recipes. I am also going to schedule a trip out to the farm to see the produce from field to my plate. This is going to be an exciting summer of food.