Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a partnership between farmers and consumers in which the responsibilities, risks and rewards of farming are shared. It is the real local food revolution and helps to address increasing concerns about the lack of transparency, sustainability and resilience of our food system. It is one of the most radical ways that we can re-take control and ownership of our food system. CSA approaches can vary. Consumers, often described as CSA members, are closely linked to the farm and the production of their food, and provide support that goes beyond a straight forward marketplace exchange of money for goods. The most common produce for CSA farms is vegetables, but they can also include eggs, poultry, bread, fruit, pork, lamb, beef and dairy produce. CSA farms are also developing around woodlands for firewood and also more recently fish. CSA make sense for everyone and there are benefits for all. Farmers receive a more stable and secure income and closer connection with their community, and consumers benefit by eating fresh healthy local food, feeling more connected to the land where their food is grown and learning new skills.
Each CSA is different but by joining a CSA farm, you can expect to receive a share of food, have direct contact with the farmer or grower and know that you are helping to provide them with a sustainable income.
Many CSA farms offer volunteer opportunities, work parties and open days where you can put on your wellies and help out. This provides a fantastic opportunity for you or your family to learn more about how your food is produced and meet lots of new people.