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“CSA” stands for Community Supported Agriculture. In a CSA farm, eaters/consumers and farmers collaborate to help each other and the Earth. The farmers grow the food and steward the land on behalf of the consumers. The consumers, or farm members, share the costs of supporting the farm, including the risks and rewards of farming.
In essence, CSA is an alternative economic model of food distribution. Members, or shareholders, underwrite the harvest for the whole season in advance. What the shareholder pays is kind of like an operating loan,…except instead of interest being paid back to a bank, there are the positive externalities from a viable family farm in one’s community – agricultural land preservation, fresh (because it’s so local!) organic food, a clean environment from sustainable farming practices, and dollars staying in one’s local economy.
With CSA, consumers become co-producers, investing in the farm – the farmers, the land, the community. Ideally, members or shareholders will continue to be a part of the farm for many seasons.