Getting Great Food: Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

By: Co+op

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an innovative way to get fresh, seasonal food directly from local farms. When you join a CSA, you support your community farmers by purchasing a share of their harvest in advance. Here’s how it works:

  1. Farmers figure out their costs for a year of planting, tending, watering, harvesting and delivering their crops.
  2. They divide those costs by the number of farm “shares” they want to sell to families and individuals. A “share” is usually one box (a big one!) of fresh fruits, veggies, herbs, and sometimes flowers, dairy products, honey, eggs, and even meat, delivered every week during the growing season.
  3. Many farmers offer different sizes of share boxes for larger or smaller families, and some CSA shareholders split the cost of a share with neighbors or friends.
  4. CSA members pick up their boxes of fresh food at a central location (often your neighborhood food co-op).

Ask the staff at your local co-op about CSA programs in your neighborhood, and read more about getting great food at food co-ops and farmers markets too.