SOUTH DEERFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — It’s the start of the season for many local farmers, and that means a push for Community Supported Agriculture or CSA’s.
But what is a CSA?
“The customer joins the farm, becomes a member of the farm at the beginning of the season,” explains Margaret Christie, Special Projects Director at CISA, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture.
This payment helps local farmers with their upfront costs like seeds, supplies and hiring workers, all of which come before there’s a product to sell.
In return the customer receives a share of the harvest, every week, all season long.
According to CISA, there are forty-nine CSA’s locally, many of which provide vegetables and fruits, but there are many farms that offer even more.
“We have meat CSA’s, we have CSA’s that offer flower shares or sometimes people offer add on shares of things like eggs and fruit,” says Christie.
The average vegetable CSA share runs $400-$600 for a full season, but there are ways to make it more affordable. One way is to purchase a half share. Many farmers allow members to put down a deposit and then make additional payments through the season, you can also share your CSA share with a family member or friends.
CISA Executive Director Philip Korman believes more people are joining CSA’s because they see them as a solution to a variety of issues we face.
“Whether it’s diet related problems of obesity, or whether it’s a concern for climate change, or whether they want to see their neighbor farmers thrive and have the local economy be more resilient,” says Korman.
If you’re looking to join a CSA this year, CISA can help you find a farm that best suits you. All you need to do is visit their website .