ABOUT COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a way to buy local food directly from a farmer. You purchase a “share” and become a farm “member.” As a CSA member, you choose your pick-up location from a list of options the farm provides, and the farm delivers a box of vegetables and/or other farm products to you regularly throughout the growing season. Some farms offer choose-your-own options or “market shares” where you can compile your own box of vegetables at their weekly farm stand.
Members of a CSA sign up with their farm in advance of the growing season, which helps farms plan for the season ahead and cover the initial annual costs of farm operation.
Along with farm-fresh food, other benefits of CSA membership typically include:
Farm newsletters with each delivery, including notes about farm activities, box contents, cooking tips, and recipes.
Opportunities to visit the farm and attend farm events.
Many share options including extended season shares (spring, fall, winter), customizable shares, and various share sizes.
Payment plans or financial support to accommodate households on a tight budget.
Knowing your farmer uses sustainable and organic farming practices that limit environmental impact.
CSA supports a sustainable farming system that connects farmers directly with consumers and ensures a fair price for farm products.
Spring share - Squashington Farm
May share - Tipi Produce
Summer share - Winterfell Acres
HOW DOES CSA WORK?
CSA members join a farm early in the season by purchasing a share of that farm’s products in advance. In return, members get a delicious weekly or bi-weekly box of foods, carefully grown, harvested, and washed by the farmer, all season long. Members pick up their shares in their neighborhood or at their farm, and can participate in on-farm events, work days, potlucks, u-pick gardens, and more. Some farms offer choose-your-own or “market shares” where you can compile your own box of vegetables at their weekly farm stand!
IT'S REALLY AS SIMPLE AS THAT!
You pick a farm that fits your needs.
You purchase a “share” from a farm and become a farm “member.”
You choose the pick-up location from a list of options the farm provides.
The farm delivers a box of vegetables regularly throughout the growing season.
You attend events and activities on your farm, if you want some quality time with your farmer.
WHY CHOOSE A FAIRSHARE-ENDORSED FARM?
Finding the farm that works best for you can be daunting with so many high-quality farms in our community. A FairShare-endorsed farm promises to:
Be certified organic or in transition to organic certification.
Grow or produce the vast majority of their products on their farm.
Provide a high level of customer service.
Late October share - Driftless Organic
WHAT FACTORS TO CONSIDER
Are you interested in
on-farm activities? Then
you might be interested
in a farm that is located
closer to you!
With so many different pickup locations to choose from, you can find farms that deliver near your house or workplace.
How many people are using the share? A standard share may be perfect for 3-4, and a small/half share for 1-2.
Pick up your share on a day that best fits your schedule.
Find the CSA share that is most cost-effective for you! (Check out our
for cost-sharing options.)
Interested in meat, dairy, coffee, or other specialty products? See which farms offer add-ons.
# OF DELIVERIES
Different farms offer longer/shorter CSA seasons.
Some farms offer special tours, activities, or events just for their CSA members.
HOW TO PICK A FARM
Use the tools at csacoalition.org
Our website has lots of great resources to assist in your farm selection. Learn about CSA through our CSA Farm Guide. Then, explore share types with the interactive Farm Search tool and find pick-up locations convenient to your home, workplace, or community.
Get to know your farmer
Become familiar with the farms in your community by clicking on their profiles, reading about farm offerings and their philosophy, and seeking out logistical information regarding pick-up locations and shares.
Contact the Farmer
As you narrow your search, visit the farm’s website and Facebook page, and then contact the farm if you still have questions. Farmers welcome inquiries from potential members.
Fill out the farm’s CSA sign-up form and start receiving fresh food and priceless farm and cooking information.
Check out these additional resources:
Looking for a CSA farm, but can't find what you're looking for in the FairShare Farm Search? Below are additional resources to find a CSA farm that is near you and is a great fit for your household or organization: