Community Supported Agriculture (or CSA) is a model of food production that re-connects people with the farmers and land that grow their food. The philosophy is based on the development of a mutually helpful relationship between garden members and farmer.
Garden members receive organic, locally-grown fresh produce every week or every other week throughout the season. They have the opportunity to get to know their farmer personally, and are able to ask questions and learn about how their food is grown. They also have the opportunity to try some great (but less common) vegetables and herbs – alongside of their favourites, of course! – and to become a vital part of the farm that is feeding them and their families, both through their welcome presence in the field (for farm tours, work bees, and harvest celebrations), and through their financial support at the outset of the season. In CSAs, garden members also commit to sharing the inherent risks and bounty of farming.
The farmer, in turn, commits to growing high-quality, healthful produce using all of their knowledge and ability, in a way that is good to the earth. The farmer benefits from having a more stable (and timely) income, and a consistent local market for their produce over the whole season. They also enjoy being able to share the abundance and uncertainties of farming, the privilege and responsibility of stewarding the land, and building a close relationship with garden members who consume the fruits (…or vegetables…or grains…) of their labours!