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How CSAs Work

How does Community Supported Agriculture work?

When a person signs up to join a local farm CSA, they are purchasing a share of the farm’s operations for that year. The owners of the farm create a budget that includes their expenses (seed, equipment, labor and other costs) and divide it by the number of members (based on expected farm yield) to come up with an annual share price. Members purchase a share upfront, and go the farm to collect a box of produce every week during the growing season. In this way, growers and consumers provide mutual support and share the risks and benefits of food production.

Produce varies throughout the growing season, and may include fruit, vegetables and herbs. Some farmers include flowers, eggs, dairy products, meat, honey and bread in their offerings or by additional subscriptions. CSAs may include the opportunity for apprenticeships, which offer valuable hands-on education and training for future farmers and growers. Many CSAs have a decision-making body made up of farmers, stakeholders and members who hold regular meetings about the farm’s operations.

Return to Lopez Community Farm CSA.