C H I C A G O L A N D' S L O C A L F A R M C O A L I T I O N
In its purest form, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes essentially that community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and rewards of food production.Members of the farm purchase a share in advance--usually in Spring--committing to the farm for the season, which helps to cover the initial annual costs of the farm operation at a time when farmers have very little farming income. In return, members receive boxes of the farm’s produce or products throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and knowing where their food comes from.
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food
For the Band of Farmers CSA growers and producers, CSA is much more than just a weekly delivery of food; it is a mutually beneficial relationship. They are the growers or producers of all or the vast majority of their box contents. While they might collaborate with other local farmers to add value to their shares by offering occasional specialty items, Band of Farmers members are the primary producers of their share members’ food. It means that as a member of a Band of Farmers CSA farm you truly know your farmer. Your dollars are going directly to your farmer for their farm products. Your box is not amassed from throughout the region or country, but rather a delicious box containing the bounty of your farm, picked, washed and prepared by your farmer, for you.
Articles about CSA:
First Person: CSA Farmers Band Together, by Julia Harvey McDonald (Mar 5, 2015)
Eat Local With a CSA Now, by Robin Schirmer (Mar 2, 2015)
How My CSA Changed My Life, by Bruce Bradley (Feb 25, 2015)
Is This the Year You'll Join a CSA?, by Robin Schirmer (Mar 12, 2014)
The Pros and Cons of Joining a CSA, by Cathy Erway (May 6, 2013), at SeriousEats.com
For answers to Frequently Asked Questions, click here.
For a history of Community Supported Agriculture, click here.