Community Supported Agriculture, or CSAs, are local farmers who sell “shares” or memberships to public consumers.  These shares result in a weekly box, bag, or basket of (usually) vegetables or other seasonal produce. Sometimes it will include other goods as well. This depends on the CSA and how their crop is doing.

This is a great way for you, the consumer, to get:

  • Fresh, locally-grown produce
  • Learn about new vegetables
  • Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows YOUR food.

Doing a search for my own area on the Local Harvest site returns 63 listings of nearby CSA farms. Most have a growing season from June to October. Most have weekly delivery, but some offer weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly delivery. They also usually will offer a full share or half share. Half shares seem to start between $250-$350, depending on the CSA. Full shares average $500-$600 (feeds a family of four).  This may seem like a lot, but this is for weekly produce for 5 months, or 20 weeks.  So, say you do a full share at $600. This is $30/week.  That is pretty good for enough produce for the week for 4 people. I know I’ve spent that at the grocery store when I really concentrate on buying fresh produce. And this is locally grown. Many of the farms are even certified organic.

So, think about becoming a member with your local CSA.  Here are some tips to consider.