Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Community Supported Agriculture
Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season. There is a great deal of information available about the concept of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) some information is available www.localhavest.com
The Country Taste Farm model is to provide healthier food alternative direct to the consumer while assuring a market for the highly perishable produce. This relationship between Country Taste Farm and the consumer helps to build a Fresh and healthier local food system, the consumer and the farmer, share in the risk associated with natural farming as well the benefits of a bountiful season.
The benefits of buying produce directly from a local family farm are many: Your CSA membership funds stay in the local economy, the farmer uses labor intensive methods and reduced synthetic chemicals, you know where your food is grown, how your food is grown, and your know who handles your food. We invite you to visit the Farm, we send out several invitations dates each year to our members and other customers, and you can make an appointment for a special visit.
With the CTF CSA we offer some flexibility with our share, we during peak tomatoes and cucumber season allow you to exchange your weekly mixed share in tomatoes or cucumbers for canning/pickling (please schedule with us in advance).
Shared Risk
There is an important concept woven into the CSA model that takes the arrangement beyond the usual commercial transaction. That is the notion of shared risk. When originally conceived, the CSA was set up differently than it is now. A group of people pooled their money, bought a farm, hired a farmer, and each took a share of whatever the farm produced for the year. If the farm had a tomato bonanza, everyone put some up for winter. If a plague of locusts ate all the greens, people ate cheese sandwiches. Very few such CSAs exist today, and for most farmers, the CSA is just one of the ways their produce is marketed. They may also go to the farmers market, do some wholesale, sell to restaurants, etc. Still, the idea that "we're in this together" remains. On some farms it is stronger than others, and CSA members may be asked to sign a policy form indicating that they agree to accept without complaint whatever the farm can produce.