Category: Community-Supported Agriculture

Community-Supported Agriculture(CSA)

Community-Supported Agriculture(CSA)

Community Supported Agriculture (AAC), also called the “ CSA model ” or, in English, community-supported agriculture, is an alternative economic system that connects consumers to farmers.

In this model, consumers, also called co-producers, are more aware of the processes of planting food and share the risks involved with farmers. Compared to the traditional model of agriculture, the CSA model values ​​farmers better, improves food quality, reduces waste, expands socio-environmental awareness, among other benefits.

How It Works ?

In the CSA model, co-producers receive weekly information on the progress of crops and baskets weekly or monthly. For this, it is necessary to make a financial investment, which works like a subscription.

Ideally, farmers work based on the principles of organic or biodynamic agriculture; and provide food grown in seasonal baskets, that is, which vary according to the natural season of each crop.

Community-Supported Agriculture(CSA)


Despite producing or harvesting practically everything we consume, the people who work at the beginning of the food production chain are the poorest and, oddly enough, represent a significant part of the hungry people. This is because those who most benefit from the sale of food are the intermediaries (usually markets), and not the producers, who keep a much lower share of the value that is obtained from the final consumer.

Principles And Theoretical Concepts Of Csa

One of the characteristics that come closest to theoretical studies on the subject and perhaps the main difference of CSA about other conventional forms of agriculture is the proposal of proximity and partnership between family farmers and consumers. The proposal works to eliminate intermediaries in the food chain and provide a more integrated view of society.

The relationship between consumer and farmer appears so important that, among the countless descriptions about CSA, they are used in research in English, about the consumer who is part, mostly, as “partner” or “Partnership” (BLOEMMEN et al ., 2015) that brings the sense of association, partnership, society. In Brazil, the most used word to designate the CSA consumer is “co-producer” or “associate”

According to Cone and Myhre (2000) and Bougherara et al. (2009), CSA is opposed to the current form of anonymous and distant production, by allowing a feeling of community and trust through the specific connection of the producer with a land space. The relationship of mutual aid and sharing of risks between producer and co-producer, in seasons that hinder the harvest, is an alternative form of the organization compared to the traditional economic model.

Another proposal inherent to this type of productive arrangement is the search for the transition from traditional industrial agriculture to agro ecological agriculture. In Buck and Hayden (2012) and Melo et al. (2018), it was evidenced how the CSA affected the environmental ethics of the case studied, in addition to the potential de-mercantilization of this practice.

Eckert’s (2016) Brazilian study on CSA, based on Karl Polanyi, related the concepts of plurality and coexistence, in addition to the concept of countermovement, as a form of resistance and the recovery of the relative autonomy of individuals. In this sense, it was observed that individuals are not liable to commercialization and its effects, as they articulate themselves to seek protection and gain autonomy and, therefore, in the CSA, other principles of economic regulation coexist, mainly the principle of reciprocity in which the act is privileged over the object and the private institution.

In Bloemmen, Belgium’s CSA was presented from a microeconomic degrowth perspective, which is a critique of the current dominant model and its paradigm of unlimited growth as an indicator of success. The authors started from theories that defend a new production model in which the rational goals of efficiency and maximization do not dominate social rationality, besides bringing to the discussion non-utilitarian and instrumental ways of organizing themselves.

Thus, the CSA proposal seems to bring about the questioning of principles naturalized by the mercantile economy, such as individualism, work for the exchange of wages based on meritocracy, the distancing of the relationship between producer and consumer. From these questions, there is the potential for new meanings to be constructed by the subjects, as well as for other questions to arise to extrapolate the work sphere.…

Community-supported Agriculture(CSA) Farmer Do

Community-supported Agriculture(CSA) Farmer Do

A CSA program offers independent farmers, often small (ours is a five-acre plot), an alternative way to sell their products. It can be managed by the owner of a single farm or by a group of farms that work as a cooperative. No absolute rules are governing the distance a CSA can distribute from the farm (or farms), but most are within a few hours’ drive. For example, the plot of our CSA is about 100 km from our home.

While not a requirement, most CSAs practice sustainable and environmentally responsible agriculture, planting cover crops (instead of using commercial fertilizers) to protect soil ecology and use fewer pesticides than large-scale farmers. Many are certified organic as well. And because CSAs don’t distribute over long distances, they have a smaller carbon footprint than farms that they distribute nationally.

Community-supported Agriculture(CSA) Farmer Do

Share Sizes And Costs

The size of the delivery depends on the size of the share. The stocks generally come in three sizes: full (three-quarters of a bushel), medium (half a bushel), and small (a quarter of a bushel). This gives shareholders some control over the amount of food they receive. For example, my CSA recommends a full share for a regular family of four or “two to three greedy vegetable eaters” in the same house.

Comparing the cost of the CSA product and the store-bought product

As a gift, my wife and I are not paying for our CSA this year. But we like it enough that we will certainly sign up next year. With that in mind, I looked at the possible savings (or costs) of our members. You can perform a similar analysis that applies to your situation, based on the CSA options and the cost of groceries in your area.

Some Examples Of Csa-inspired Meals That We Recently Enjoyed:

Sumi salad, which includes a chopped cabbage head provided by CSA and a chopped carrot provided by CSA, as well as non-CSA ingredients such as ramen noodles, almonds, apple cider vinegar, and chicken

Pumpkin frittata, a quiche-like dish that includes pumpkin, cucumber, and onion provided by CSA, plus non-CSA eggs and spices

Dinner salad, which includes leafy vegetables provided by CSA (butter lettuce, arugula) and onions, plus blue cheese and non-CSA nuts

CSA’s shares are priced so that shareholders cover the cost of food production throughout the season. Farmers who run the program set a price for each share size, as well as a target for the total number of shares sold (based on how much they can grow). Prices are not always proportional to stock sizes, as some farmers offer bulk discounts for larger stocks. And prices can vary for similar amounts of food, as many CSAs try to make a profit and set their prices accordingly. Others see themselves as providers of community service and aim only to balance.

Deliveries And Sales

For logistical simplicity, many CSAs deliver their weekly deliveries to central locations, usually community centers or daycare centers that reserve space for them. For example, we acquired our share in a nursery a few kilometers from our home. Our CSA has several other drop-off points within a short drive from us.

As a shareholder, you can specify which location you want to use. And the chosen CSA may create a new delivery location in response to shareholder demand. On the other hand, some CSAs offer door-to-door deliveries, particularly in sparsely populated areas. If you live far from a central delivery location, look for a CSA that will be delivered to your home or business.

To ensure that they have enough money available to continue during the growing season, CSAs typically offer their shares for sale before the first delivery of the year. If shares run out before the first delivery, CSA will close to new members until the following year. If the shares remain after the start of the season, CSA may continue to offer them at proportional prices. In areas with longer growing seasons, CSAs may offer partial season shares. For example, Atlanta’s Farmers’ Fresh allows its customers to pay for four weeks at a time.…