What is a CSA : What to Consider When Joining a Farm Share

CSA Community Supported Agriculture

Update: Here are two recent  local news segments I did talking about CSAs and how CSA’s benefit children and families.

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.


What to ask when looking at a CSA Program

  • 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:

Vegetable Recipe Index

8 Ways to Use Random CSA Veggies

Reasons to Join a CSA

Local Harvest – comprehensive list of CSA programs around the country.

Comprehensive NYS Organic Farm Guide

My Personal FAQ

HUGE listing of recipes using unusual vegetables

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).

 Local CSA Program Spotlights:

Genesee Valley CSA

Lagoner Farms

G & S Orchards

Muddy Fingers

Wickham Farms CSA

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  1. This is a great resource for CSA’s! I have one right near my house and it is so lovely! We are considering signing up to work there too for a further discount, and just skipping our own personal garden. Thanks so much for this info!

  2. Great questions! I love my non-committal CSA: I pick exactly what gets delivered (to my door – yay!), and I can skip any week. But it is a bit more pricey. I couldn’t stand watching some of the produce from my other deliveries wither and die though. I don’t have the time at this point in my life to figure out how to use unfamiliar veggies… I wrote about it here: http://www.eco-novice.com/2012/04/how-i-shop-for-food.html

  3. I’m so sad to be skipping our CSA this summer. We are remodeling our kitchen so there’s no way we could handle all those vegetables. I’ll grow a few in my garden and pick up extras at the farmer’s market as needed. But next summer, it’s back to the CSA!

  4. Great resource for those who love CSA! I am a control freak when it comes to food though. So I go to the farmers market every Saturday and pick out the food I need. The other issue is that I don’t want to take a chance of wasting food so a weekly delivery of mystery food might put me over the edge. LOL.

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