Over the last two decades, CSA – Community Supported Agriculture – has become one of the popular ways for most of the consumers are out there to purchase local and seasonal foods directly from the farmers. A good example is the Grant Family Farms which is located near the Fort Collins.
Now how the CSA concept works? A farmer has to offer a specific number of the “Shares” to the public. Generally a box of vegetables is consisted in the Share; however other farm products can be included. The consumers who are interested, buy a share and receive a box seasonal of food each week throughout the season of farming.
There is no doubt it is a pretty simple idea, but it has put a great impact on the family farming. Tens thousands families have already joined CSA’s. It has been seen that there are some areas where the CSA farms’ demands are very high and there not enough CSA farms to fill it.
Some farmers include the option for the shareholders to purchase shares of homemade bread, meat, cheese, eggs, flowers, fruits along with their veggies.
Advantages for farmers:
• The great advantage of this concept for the farmers is that they start receiving payments early in the season so it helps them with the cash flow of the farm.
• They can have the idea that, who eat the foods they produce.
Advantage for consumers:
• Consumer can eat fresh food which is great for their health.
• They have to visit the farm at least once in a season.
• They might be introduced with new vegetables which they have not tasted before.
• They can develop a good relationship with the farmers and it helps them in learning how the food is grown practically.
The number of CSA-farms is unknown because US government does not track them.