Community Supported Agriculture

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  CSA programs directly link local residents and nearby farmers  (eliminating “the middle man” that usually favors large-scale, industrialized agriculture) and increases the quality of food and the care given the land.  In basic terms, a CSA is a community of individuals who pledge support to a local farm operation so the farmland becomes “The Community’s Farm”, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production.
The members or “share-holders” 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 share in the risks of farming, including poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests.  The individuals or families who participate do not pay for “x” pounds of produce, but rather support  the budget of the whole farm and receive weekly what is seasonably ripe.
This approach eliminates the marketing risks and costs for the producer and an enormous amount of time.  It allows producers to focus on quality care of soils, crops, co-workers, and on serving customers.  There is little to no loss/waste in this system since the producers know in advance who they are growing for and how much to grow.  One of the biggest advantages of the close consumer-producer relationship is the freshness of the produce.  It is picked when ripe and delivered to the end-user directly after harvesting.

     To learn more about CSA support in the Salt Lake area, check out greatsaltlakercd.org and slowfoodutah.org

Learn why buying local matters: Watch Buy local and Food Matters.