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Community Supported Agriculture
Community Supported Agriculture is a method of marketing produce in which members subscribe to a farm on a weekly, monthly or annual basis and in return receive a box of fresh produce throughout the growing season. This method of marketing is growing in popularity across the U.S. as consumer interest rises in local food. The CSA model ensures income for the farmer and provides a reliable food supply to consumers. There are a number of resources for farmers on how to design a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.
Robin Van En Center for CSA Resources - This is a great resource to find CSA farms in your area, to learn about the history of the CSA movement and to learn more about Community Supported Agriculture and how it works.
Community Support Agriculture - This publication reports on the history of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in the U.S. and discusses the various models that have emerged. Recent trends in the CSA movement are presented and demographic information provided about the distribution of CSA farms in the U.S. Several CSA cases are profiled and a survey of recent research is presented. References and resources follow the narrative.
Portland Area CSA Coalition - This site is intended as a resource for people looking to join a CSA farm, a place for growers to find ideas for improving their farms. The Portland Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition started as a small group of CSA farmers getting together to provide mutual support, tour each others farms and share potluck meals in the off season.
CSA's of North America - CSA is a partnership of mutual commitment between a farm and a community of supporters which provides a direct link between the production and consumption of food. Supporters cover a farm's yearly operating budget by purchasing a share of the season's harvest.
CSA Annotated Bibliography - In basic terms, CSA consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production.