Community Supported Agriculture CSA
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. The CSA model ensures income for the farmer and provides a reliable food supply to consumers.
Marketing your products through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) encourages customers to become share-holders in the farm business. CSA gives farmers a chance to spread both the risks and the rewards of farming across a larger community. CSAs require good planning and organizational skills, particularly for setting the planting and harvest calendar and managing the CSA. Farms with an established customer base are in a good position to start a CSA, as current customers can help bring in new members.
Excellent crop management skills to provide attractive and diverse weekly food baskets, as well as good customer service skills. Approach the CSA model with careful research and planning so that you can assess consumer interest in your area, and if that interest can translate into the sustained demand needed to make your business successful. Because customers now have so many other options for buying local, it may be useful to think of ways to customize the CSA for your particular niche.
Click on the interaction CSA flowchart from OSU Small Farms and the Pacific Northwest CSA Coalition for information and resources on incorporating CSA into your farm operation.
Pacific NW CSA Coalition (formerly PACSAC)
Provides education about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), supports farmers who provide quality local food to our communities, and increases access to healthy food for underserved communities.
The CSA Innovation Network is a resource base of programs and tools built by and for individuals and organizations supporting Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) development. The CSA Innovation Network generates and facilitates idea sharing across the CSA community, to assist farmers in building sustainable businesses, and to build awareness of value to CSA consumers.