miércoles, abril 06, 2005

Hooray, Hooray, for CSAs!

Posted March 31, 2005: Somewhere, somehow, you’ve heard of CSA – Community Supported Agriculture. It’s a style of bringing farmers and eaters together that includes enough variety to fit many different settings, seasons and sensibilities.

To fill in any of your CSA information gaps, we’ve collected our related stories: what we think is the conclusive history of the movement’s birth in North America; stories by CSA farmers from California and Wisconsin throughout last year’s growing season; features on great CSA operations; and, for your direct connecting to farmers close to you, our Farm Locator’s list of CSA farm profiles from around the country.

If you're a consumer, you'll be delighted by the profiles of creative, dynamic farm families around the country who are working hard to bring you the best local produce, and a great experience. If you're a farmer, you'll get lots of great advice and insights into how to run a CSA--and you'll need all the help you can get. As Harmony Valley CSA farmer Linda Halley once said, CSA farming is graduate level farming because you have to balance the demands of customers, marketing, a complex distribution system, and a challenging planting schedule for dozens of crops.

Note to consumers: Many CSA members have already paid their CSA farmer for some or all their season’s food by now, and are eagerly awaiting weekly eating of what’s in season. But many of these farms still have room to add new members, and would welcome the opportunity to fill out their roster to meet their anticipated production of vegetables, fruits, pastured poultry, grass-fed meat and artisan cheeses.

It’s also planting time for farm families in most of the US, so be patient as they scurry for their customer-service hats to get you the information and attention you need to start your CSA relationship.

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