CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and can also be referred to as subscription agriculture. Individuals, families or groups can sign up for a share in a CSA and will receive weekly distributions of vegetables. Some CSAs have pick up on farm, others have a pick up location where members receive their share, and some offer home delivery services. CSAs often offer a combination of common vegetables and seasonal fruits such as tomatoes, peppers, squash and salad greens, and lesser-known varieties such as bok choy and kohlrabi. Some CSAs allow for members to pick and choose what they would like to see in their share, while others encourage members to try new things by offering unique and heirloom varieties.
CSAs are beneficial to both members and farmers. Members get the opportunity to try new foods, eat seasonally, and to build a relationship with their farmer. Farmers get the economic security of having a solid customer base throughout the season. This allows farmers to better plan on the farm, avoiding over production and wasted food, and gives farmers the much needed cast flow at the beginning of the season when most farm expenses occur.
“CSAs help to connect people to farmers in a mutually beneficial relationship where farmers are able to have funds for supplies and getting to know their customers and customers receive a weekly supply of food and other perks such as tours, recipes, workshops etc.,” says April Vigardt of the SIU Sustainable Farm CSA.” SIU Sustainable Farm will be at this Saturday’s CSA along with: Hollow Pumpkin Farm; All Seasons Farm; and Angie’s Farm.