ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) - and why it matters.

Updated on November 28, 2015
Enjoy fresh, local, organic raspberries and other delicious fruits and veggies when you join and support a CSA in your area.
Enjoy fresh, local, organic raspberries and other delicious fruits and veggies when you join and support a CSA in your area. | Source

What is Community Supported Agriculture?

Curious about CSAs? Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. In it's most simple form, a CSA works like this:

  • A farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public, prior to the growing season.
  • Members or "share-holders" pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation, paying an up front fee to the farmer.
  • In return, members receive a portion of the farm's harvest throughout the growing season. This is typically a box of fruits and vegetables, but possibly other farm products, such as eggs, as well.

Why Join a CSA?

So, why would someone want to pay a farmer up front for a share of his harvest when they can just run to the grocery store? What exactly is in it for the member?

CSA members:

  • Eat ultra-fresh, often organic, seasonal food.
  • Get exposed to new fruits and vegetables.
  • Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season.
  • Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food.
  • Learn more about how food is grown, giving them a better appreciation for their food and their environment.
  • Support their local economy.
  • Reduce their carbon footprint by not buying food that was shipped thousands of miles to reach their table.

CSA farmers:

  • Receive payment in advance of the growing season, helping with cash flow. Most CSA enrollment periods close before the first crops are planted.
  • Develop relationships with the people who eat the food they grow.
  • Are somewhat protected financially from a poor growing season.
  • Have a guaranteed market for the fruits of their labor.

Would you join a CSA?

See results

Community Support Agriculture Programs

Interested in finding a CSA in your area, but not sure where to start? Head down to your local farmer's market. Chances are some of the farmers there run CSAs. Even if not, they will certainly be able to give you information on nearby CSAs.

I was fortunate to meet my CSA farmer at a local farmer's market in Oklahoma City. After researching CSAs for about two years, we finally subscribed to Berry Creek Farms. I looked around for a CSA in my area a few years ago, but didn't really have any luck finding anything. Instead, we joined the local food cooperative. But, I never gave up on finding a good CSA, so when I ran across Berry Creek Farms, I jumped right in and haven't been disappointed.

We haven't received our first shipment yet, but I am excited for the first spring harvest. For $900 for a nine-month commitment, we will be bringing home a bag of fresh fruits and veggies each week. They grow everything from peaches to peppers from grapes to tomatoes. I'm thrilled about all the great certified organic produce my family will be enjoying this summer.

The farm even offers a seasonal dinner of farm-fresh produce for CSA member once a year. They invite you to the farm, giving you a chance to get to know the farmer, meet other CSA members, and enjoy a home-cooked, organic meal. My family is already looking forward to this dinner.

What's Your CSA Experience?

Now that you have learned about CSAs - are you ready to find one in your area and support your local farming community? I'd love to hear your stories about what you love about your CSA, what motivated you to join and what other steps you are taking to support sustainable agriculture.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Written Up profile imageAUTHOR

      Written Up 

      5 years ago from Oklahoma City, OK

      Thanks - I am a big fan of CSAs. I hope to see them grown throughout the US.

    • dilipchandra12 profile image

      Dilip Chandra 

      5 years ago from India

      Excellent information. I like the above knowledge hub. It was well written with lots of useful information.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)