Community Shared Agriculture (CSA)
Community Shared Agriculture provides city dwellers with a box full of fresh, high quality, seasonal produce direct from a local farm every week during the growing season. CSA members buy shares early in the season and thereby assume part of the farmer's risk. If the weather is good, the harvest is plentiful but if there is drought, flooding, hail or an early freeze, less food is produced. The risk is worth it to many people who experience the thrill of being able to talk to the people growing their food. This direct contact breaks down the distance between producer and consumer, building better relationships between urban and rural people. And because produce is picked the day it is delivered it tastes much better than food that traveled weeks to get to the store. Again, costs are lower because the food has passed through fewer hands. CSAs benefit farmers by allowing them to have smaller farms that are much better for the environment yet still profitable. And for many farmers, providing food for eager neighbours is far more satisfying than shipping it off to the nearest food depot.