What is Community Supported Agriculture?



Are you looking for the best produce possible, while still falling within the confines of your budget? This may seem like an impossible feat, but there is no need to worry! Economically feasible, fresh, and accessible produce is right in the heart of your community. In fact, you may end up discovering delicious local produce you’ve never used, adding a creative element to your cooking.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a program that is gaining popularity in all over the country, as a way to improve access to fresh produce and make healthy eating more attainable, all while supporting local farms and businesses.

The process is actually quite simple. A community organization, like a non-profit, an educational institution, or any other entity that is willing to support the health of the community, builds relationship with local farms to secure an allotted amount of produce in a given time period. The organization then has a sort of membership that community members are able to buy into to reserve some of this produce. It is usually a monthly allotment, so community members will pay up front for a yearlong membership to the CSA program. Some programs allow a month-to-month payment program.

The payment gets each member of the CSA a box of produce. The actual contents of the CSA allotment usually vary depending on what harvest season the farms of currently in. Some CSA programs are able to their members exactly what is in their allotment, while others leave it as a surprise for members. The surprise adds an element of unpredictability, encourage more meals to be cooked at home and cooking education. In doing so, CSA program managers are trying to encourage more cooking at home, rather than the expenses and sometimes negative health consequences that come along with eating out.

CSA programs not only improve the health of the community, but to the financial stability of local farms as well. A community-based approach to health is necessary and by involving all different aspects of the food system in one program, CSA’s have the ability to drastically improve the health and wellness of any community that decides to incorporate it. This is especially useful for those living in urban aeras who may not have access to local foods.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Rob Bertholf

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.