Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a concept that gained traction in the US in the 1990s, and has grown exponentially in popularity in the last few years. The concept of CSA is beneficial on many levels, both for farms and for consumers. In a nutshell, CSA works to offer shares to members of their communities for a (usually quite reasonable) set price. In return, the customer receives a box of fresh, seasonal produce at regular intervals, usually weekly or monthly.
This arrangement is beneficial to farmers who work in an industry where it is normal for fluctuations in their business to occur. It gives farmers a baseline of support throughout the year, and can help them with cash flow ahead of their usual harvest.
CSAs benefit consumers by providing them with fresh, local produce at a reasonable price. As our lives get busier, it only gets harder to make time for thoughtful grocery shopping, where you try to get a healthy mix of fruits and vegetables. Eliminating that task is a big time-saver. The unexpected benefit of using a CSA, is that you will likely receive produce that you're unfamiliar with, getting some much needed variety in your vegetable routine!
Read our guide to CSA produce, for recipes and instructions on what to do with those unfamiliar vegetables!