“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
What is CSA?
Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is a food production and distribution system that directly connects farmers and consumers. In short: people buy "shares" of a farm's harvest in advance and then receive a portion of the crops as they're harvested.
Farmers earn important early-season capital and have a guaranteed market for their produce. Barring a disastrous harvest, consumers enjoy overall lower food costs, field-fresh produce, and greater access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
You can find a farm near you to collaborate with by taking a trip to your local farmers market or a quick google search.
Here is a statement from York Farm, with whom I am a current CSA member.
"At its essence, Community Supported Agriculture is a relationship between you and the farm that grows your food. CSA provides the human element to the broccoli that you steam for dinner — you know where those florets came from and you can trust not only how they were grown, but that that your vegetables are weeks (or even months) fresher than their grocery store counterparts. CSA is a purchased "share" of produce at the beginning of the growing season, lasting 24 weeks, which supports the efforts of the farm that year. This upfront commitment helps us buy seeds, soil amendments, and materials that are necessary at the beginning of the season. With your decision to become a CSA member, you are an essential part of the operations of the farm, and you will receive a weekly box full of your favorite, just-picked vegetables for the duration of the season, a weekly letter written by one of your farmers, recipes, access to special events on and off the farm, and other little perks along the way, and, of course, our undying love and appreciation. The CSA model allows us to supply you with the freshest produce, and for a face and a farm to be associated with the food that you eat. We think that is something missing in grocery stores, yet is so meaningful. By agreeing to share in the harvest with us, you can know that you're actively supporting the local food system and economy, all while enjoying the tastiest and healthiest food you can eat!"