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Are You Right For A CSA?

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Are You Right For A CSA?

As I have written about before, becoming a CSA member (Community Supported Agriculture) is an increasingly popular way to buy local, seasonal produce directly from a farmer. With a CSA you buy “shares” from a farmer that you pay for up front to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation. In return, you get a box of fresh vegetables that is usually delivered each week.

Depending on the area you live in, and where the farm is, i.e. urban vs. rural, you can either pick up the box at the farm, or the farm has pick-ups or deliveries from a central location or locations on specific days and times.

While CSAs are a great way to support your local farmer and get involved in a community farm, CSA’s are not for everyone. Here are some things to think about and some questions to ask yourself before you join one.

How many fruits and vegetables do you really eat each day? Each week? While you may want to eat more and are working towards that goal, ask yourself honestly; “how much do I actually eat?” Is it worth the added expense to join if you are not going to eat all that you get?

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.


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9:56PM PST on Nov 28, 2012


7:12PM PDT on Jun 23, 2011


12:01PM PDT on Jun 3, 2011

helpful article, thank you

5:12PM PDT on May 22, 2011

Thank you for the article.

5:41PM PDT on May 19, 2011

Thanks for those two links! Just finished checking and Orlando has so much more than I thought it would. It's definitely something worth checking out. We've decided to go organic due to health concerns and I never would have imagined that there'd be so many options here.

5:39AM PDT on May 19, 2011

Thanks for the article.

9:44PM PDT on May 17, 2011


6:42PM PDT on May 17, 2011

Noted with thanks!

6:16PM PDT on May 17, 2011

I am all for buying local. But in our part of the country that is virtually impossible much of the year. We are in Norther Ohio, and this year especially the farmers can't even get into their fields yet. I do buy local, but the rest of the time, I can to supplement food budget an health.

11:50AM PDT on May 17, 2011

We are in our 4th year of CSA - 2 years with one farm and now this is our 2nd year with another. We love it. Between it and our tomato, pepper, and herb garden, we rarely have to buy produce at the store. Also, they let us spread the payments out over the season rather than paying it all up front, which is wonderful.

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