Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is “a system that connects the producer and consumers within the food system more closely by allowing the consumer to subscribe to the harvest of a certain farm or group of farms.” What this means is CSA is a way for people to buy delicious local food directly from a farmer. 

You may be wondering, how does this work? A farmer can offer “shares” to the public. Typically, one share is a box of vegetables but can include more than just that. Consumers basically “subscribe” and purchase a share equaling a box of seasonal produce each week during the farming season. Payment is usually made at the time of subscribing for either the entire season. Some CSA's allow installments.

This strategy comes with great advantages for both the consumer and the producer. On the consumer side, you conveniently receive fresh food without having to plant anything. You also are exposed to different produce and may learn different ways of cooking. On the producer side, they can receive cash early in the season, helping with the farm’s cash flow. Both the producer and consumer are able to form meaningful relationships with one another and learn more about each other and the food that they are sharing.

If you are unable to or uninterested in gardening, CSA can be a perfect way to receive fresh, vitamin-filled produce without even having to go to the store. Not all CSA is limited solely to produce. Do your research and find a CSA opportunity that is right for you!

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Madison Senior Center and a link back to the original post.