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Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a mutually beneficial partnership between a farm and the people who consume the food it produces. The number of CSAs in this country has grown from zero in 1985 to more than one thousand in 1998, and is increasing at an accelerating rate.
Participating families and individuals receive the highest quality of food possible organically grown produce right out of the garden. They pay the lowest purchase price possible, since there is no middle man involved or transportation cost attached. They take satisfaction in regularly visiting the farm and approving the farming practices that produce the food they eat. They can choose to enjoy the experience of harvesting vegetables at the peak of ripeness, while taking comfort in the knowledge that they don't have to do all (or any) of the work necessary to produce those delicious vegetables. They can be involved in selecting the crops to be grown and can customize their share to accommodate their particular preferences. Members of a CSA can also take pride in belonging to a community dedicated to supporting ecologically sustainable agriculture and the preservation of open space.
With each visit to the farm, adults and children alike reaffirm the connection to nature that is obscured by most modern lifestyles.
The farmer operating a CSA benefits by having a secure, contracted market for his produce, by receiving his payment in the spring when he needs it the most, and by receiving direct feedback from his consumers so that he can tailor his production to meet their needs. The time he invests in marketing occurs in the winter months rather than during the growing season when he must concentrate on producing food.
Many people are initially introduced to the mission of Maysie's Farm by their interest in procuring organic vegetables and their membership in the CSA. As members become familiar with the farm and our programs, we see evidence that they are becoming active supporters of our mission by their lifestyle changes, volunteer participation and financial contributions. The farm also hosts potluck dinners several times during the growing season. See the calendar for dates.
If you'd like to read more about Community Supported Agriculture, visit the CSA page at The Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association's website, and the Sustainable Agriculture Network's CSA information page.