Crop to Cuisine: Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs)


21 Feb 2009 |
View all related to agriculture | community supported agriculture | cooperatives

Today we demystify Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs). The USDA defines a CSA as a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes the community's farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Typically, members or "share-holders" of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer's salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm's bounty throughout the growing season.

Beyond receiving fresh locally grown produce, CSA's provide an opportunity to connect to land and farmers, participating directly in food production. They began in Germany and Japan in the 60's, and made their way to North America in the 80's. But CSAs are not what they once were. The model has become increasingly important in agriculture, and continues to evolve, offering different levels of commitment, and crops ranging from mixed seasonal vegetables to flower shares.

We will take a close look at Community Supported Agriculture, learn about a few different models, and let you know what you should be looking for in a program for you or your family.

For more information about our guests, additional resources on local food and agriculture, or some great recipes, visit I'd like to know how you experience your food.

Dov Z. Hirsch
Executive Producer
Crop To Cuisine

AudioCommunity Supported Agriculture (CSAs) (length ): download, stream