CSA: Community Supported Agriculture
Definition by the USDA, United States Department of Agriculture
Community Supported Agriculture 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. Typically, members or “share-holders” of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer’s salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production. Members also share in the risks of farming, including poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests. By direct sales to community members, who have provided the farmer with working capital in advance, growers receive better prices for their crops, gain some financial security, and are relieved of much of the burden of marketing.
Another definition :
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a growing movement in America, which has provided economic support and predictability to farmers, practicing traditional family farming, that they will be able to continue to farm, and that communities will be able to enjoy fresh, local farm products. Partnering with local farms by purchasing a “share” in the season’s harvest, consumers can know where their food is coming from and have the satisfaction of supporting local agriculture.
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