What is a CSA?
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. A CSA, sometimes called a Farm Share, is a contract between a farmer and private individuals. The farmer sells shares at the beginning of the planting season, which helps him or her with initial costs. Then, the farmer delivers weekly “shares” to individuals or group drop-off points throughout the spring, summer, and fall. What products are offered is entirely dependent on the individual farm and on the vagaries of the growing season.
- How much choice do I get in what comes in my weekly share?
- What farming methods do you use? Are you USDA certified Organic?
- Where are your drop off locations? Are they convenient to me?
- What happens to my share if I go on vacation?
- Does this program offer help and recipes for using unfamiliar vegetables?
- Is there a work requirement?
In addition, I’ve written extensively in the past about my farm share experiences. Here are some articles that may help:
Local Harvest - comprehensive list of CSA programs around the country.
CSA Grants for Qualifying NYS residents: take $100 off the Farm Share from a given list if you meet requirements (only for residents of Rochester and Buffalo).