We’ve just secured our spot in a local CSA (community shared agriculture), and I am very excited!  A good friend of ours was a member last year, and we were able to pick up his share for a couple of weeks while he was away in August.  We were immediately completely enamoured by the entire experience, and are thrilled that the farmer was able to find us a spot for this year.

I look forward to taking Mausi each week to pick up our share, perhaps also picking up some local eggs or homemade bread, and chatting with others in the community.

What is community shared agriculture?

In general the CSA is a model for agriculture and food-distribution, with roots in 1960’s Western Europe and Japan, in which a community of individual members supports a farmer, and both share the risks and benefits of the growing season.  Members pay a set fee in early spring to cover all farming costs and produce is then either picked-up or delivered weekly from June through to October.

CSAs differ from other food delivery models in that members do not choose the produce that they receive each week, rather members receive what is in season, and what has grown well or ripened in any given week. The harvest is shared among members.

Most CSAs grow fruits and vegetables and many also practice organic or biodynamic farming.

By virtue of most CSAs being small individual farms, each CSA is slightly different in their farming practices, delivery methods, payment options and crop choices, so a little research must be done when choosing a CSA.

Resources for finding a local CSA

Canada ~ I was only able to find directories for 3 provinces, but there were several individual farms that had websites in the other provinces.
Alberta
British Columbia
Ontario

USA ~ A comprehensive database is available at LocalHarvest.

Photo credits: Flickr creative commons images by ilovebutter and krossbow



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