Community Supported Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture

Food & Drink

Community Supported Agriculture

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By Cari Martens

It’s being called a “new socio-economic model of farming and food distribution.” It’s Community Supported Agriculture, which basically lets you ‘subscribe’ to the output of a farm, receiving a box every week. It has been growing for several years, beginning on the East Coast, then booming in the West, followed by expansion in the Midwest as a marketing and budgeting tool for working farms.

In a CSA, people pledge to support a nearby farm operation, primarily by providing the farmer with working capital, and then regularly buying the product. It includes assuming some of the risk of low output due to weather or other conditions.

The primary output is vegetables and fruit, although dairy products and meat are entering the picture. The benefit to the individual is locally grown product they feel personally invested in; the benefit to the farmer is reduced marketing and some degree of financial security.

For a list of resources, including where to find farmers’ markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, check out USDA.gov and Localharvest.org.

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