Sunday, February 25, 2007

What is a CSA?

So what exactly is a CSA? CSA stands for "community supported agriculture". According to the USDA, a CSA is:

"Community Supported Agriculture consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community's farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Typically, members or "share-holders" of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer's salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm's bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production. Members also share in the risks of farming, including poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests. By direct sales to community members, who have provided the farmer with working capital in advance, growers receive better prices for their crops, gain some financial security, and are relieved of much of the burden of marketing."

To me a CSA is a way to sustain my family through high quality food, my community through local investment, and the planet through encouragement of sustainable agriculture by "voting with my dollars".

I learned about CSA from Jane Goodall in her book Harvest for Hope. Jane covers a lot of ground in her book, all incredibly enlightening. I personally had no idea what went into the production of the food we eat daily and was shocked by what I learned. I changed the way I live and changed the way I feed my family and friends.

The purpose of this blog is to share some of what I've learned about CSAs. My goal is to share enough realistic information with others to allow them to make an informed choice about participating in a CSA themselves. My plan is to document what we get in our box and how we use it, including recipes, every week this season. I'll start by introducing the CSA and how to get started.

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