Community Shared (Supported in US and Uk) Agriculture (CSA), is a local food option that enables shareholders to participate in a mutually beneficial relationship with farmers. In a CSA, share-holders purchase annual shares of the vegetables, fruit, meat or eggs grown or raised on the farm. Members-- or shareholders-- commit in advance of the growing season and then receive a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly allocation of seasonal produce.
Images source: https://www.fix.com/blog/farm-to-table/
Shareholders are more than shoppers
Shareholders commit to a new model of food production. This model is designed to create stronger relationships between local farms and local families. By purchasing shares in the farm's annual production, families help cover the upfront costs of production and guarantee a local market for food before and during its production. Shareholders commit to a whole season or year of farm production by paying for a weekly box of local produce and products in advance.
Community-based farming versus industrial farming
By entering into shareholding agreements farmers invite the community to actively support agriculture. The cheap, often unethical, and sometimes unsafe, production of food (often on the other side of the globe) has given large producers and exporters an unfair advantage. This and other commercial farming practices of the last few decades have placed the family farm in great jeopardy. Shareholders in local farms are a key component of "community shared agriculture." At TapRoot Farms, and other small farms across Canada, shareholders are helping to stabilize the local farm economy. They are countering the commercial farming practices that are threatening family farms and farmland. As a result they are also assured of produce that is the freshest-of-the-fresh.
The benefits for shareholders:
- Guaranteed access to a wide range of tasty, high quality, local (organic and non-organic) produce from TapRoot and associated farms during all 4 seasons.
- Membership in a caring, fun community shared food system.
- Increased ability to incorporate seasonal "100-mile diet" principles into weekly meal plans and lifestyles.
- Great recipes featuring local produce.
- Seasonal farm-based events.
- Improved knowledge of the nutritional benefits of local produce.
- Being part of the solution and stewards of the land.