I've probably mentioned before that my goal is to eventually become a CSA, and support 10-12 local families with fresh produce, meat, flowers and eggs weekly.
usually i stumble around when asked to explain what a CSA is, and never really feel that I've managed to explain it well. last month (in the local electricity publication, no less!) there was an article that explained this concept very well:
"Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, as it's commonly called, is a way for people who like to garden and don't mind hard work to build a family business on a small acreage. it's also an excellent way for consumers to have access to fresh, locally grown produce.
each spring, more CSAs sprout up across Pennsylvania as word spreads about the unique method of farming that involves a farmer offering "shares" of her crop to the public. they buyer-usually known as a member or subscriber- receives a share of seasonal produce from the farm each week during the growing season. risk is also shared- in an exceptional growing season, members will receive more produce, while boxes will not be as full when Mother Nature intervenes in a negative fashion.
CSA owners benefit from the system because they know what their seasonal income will be and how much to plant because they pre-sold the shares during the slow winter. CSA members benefit because they are assured of getting fresh produce from someone they know."