What is CSA?
As the USDA defines it: Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a new idea in farming, one that has been gaining momentum since its introduction to the United States from Europe in the mid-1980s. The CSA concept originated in the 1960s in Switzerland and Japan, where consumers interested in safe food and farmers seeking stable markets for their crops joined together in economic partnerships. Today, CSA farms in the U.S., known as CSAs, currently number more than 400. Most are located near urban centers in New England, the Mid-Atlantic states, and the Great Lakes region, with growing numbers in other areas, including the West Coast.
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. 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.
What is APIOPA doing with CSAs?
APIOPA is working on 2 separate CSAs right now. Our goal is to not only get healthy, affordable produce in to the hands of community members, but we are also trying to support local small businesses AND cut down on carbon emissions (purchasing local produce versus purchasing produce that needs to be shipped from across the country or even across the globe!). Our SIPA CSA is currently being doing through a partnership with Community Services Unlimited, Inc. (http://www.csuinc.org/programs/villagemarketplace.html). Go to their website for more information on how to sign up for their CSAs!
More info by clicking on the links below!