Why Community Supported Agriculture Matters

Display of variety of fruits and veggies.
Since its inception, agriculture has by definition been intertwined with the health and prosperity of its surrounding community.

This relationship became more fraught with the rise of industrial agriculture, but ecologically-minded farmers and consumers have rejected that model, turning to the simpler systems of the past. In the 1960s, small-scale farmers from Switzerland to Japan to the southern United States relaunched their business model to specifically feed local families who supported the farm by paying in advance for their share of the harvest. Coined in the 1980s, “community-supported agriculture” (CSA) is the blanket term for a small local farm that concentrates its efforts on growing food for a specified number of “shareholder” families.

Person holding Farm Share Harvest Box.

Given the growing cultural awareness around environmental dangers posed by climate change and industrial agriculture, as well as the growing issue of food insecurity throughout the country, CSAs are a simple way for communities to strengthen their local ecology, economy, and equity through the benefits of a resilient, hyperlocal food system.

For many years, our Farm Share program was largely a way to make best use of the produce grown on our single acre of farmland. Each week, we would put out word of what would be harvested, and our Village would sign up for a limited number of Harvest Boxes. But with the expansion of our farm to 28 acres, we’ve switched to a subscription-based CSA model with multiple options for box size, pick-up, and delivery. We’ve also formed partnerships with other producers within 150 miles of our farm to provide additional specialty items that make your weekly pick-up even more delicious and convenient. 

A CSA model offers several rewards on both sides of the Harvest Box. Our community enjoys locally-grown food at the height of freshness, nutrition, and seasonality, while our farm team is enabled to invest in equipment, materials, and support the systems that earned our farm Regenerative Organic Certification™.

The relational model of the CSA benefits both sides, as well. As farmers, we benefit from deepening our understanding of our community’s needs, preferences, and cultural traditions around food. Meanwhile, our community gains insight into the impact of their consumption choices on people and planet, empowering them to hold us accountable to the regenerative ethos that they trust us to uphold.

Farm Share Harvest Box in a field of flowers.

As we look toward the future of our bioregion, it’s exciting to participate within a larger agricultural community that can pave the way for a regenerative future.

Follow these simple steps to share in the abundance of our Farm Share CSA:

1. Visit our website and click on the Farm Share link to select your preferred subscription options (individual- or family-size box, weekly or biweekly schedule, pick-up location and day). 

2. Add any specialty items from our Farm Pantry partners to your box.

3. Visit your pick-up location on the specified date/time to collect your box.

3. Peruse the weekly Harvest Box digest to learn more about the vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers in your box, including delicious recipes and tips for storage.

This feature is part of our year-end Impact Report, which will be released online as a series over the next few months. We can only have a transformative impact on the food system with your support, so please click here to make a donation and help us in our mission to build an abundant future.