What is a CSA?

Rebekah Faivor, CTAI Soil Conservationist

What is a CSA? By definition it is “community supported agriculture”, but those three words can mean so many different things to so many different people.

To a farmer, it is a great way to market produce on a weekly basis to a local customer. Farmers can connect directly with customers in person, via text, or email to talk about what is in season, trendy recipes, and farm updates. New vegetable varieties can be introduced in CSA vegetable boxes to receive direct feedback from the customer. Farmers looking to learn more about starting a CSA can visit the Michigan Farmers Market Website at http://mifma.org/farmbaseded/ and choose the “Birch Point Farm’s Labor Considerations for CSA Models Resource Guide”.

To an average person, it means a box of vegetables that arrives on a weekly or biweekly basis from one farmer or a group of local farmers. There are multiple ways for these boxes of vegetables to get to the customer: they can be delivered to their door, picked up at the farmers market or local meeting location, or picked up directly at their local farm. Vegetables in the box can be chosen by the farmer, ahead of time by the customer, or at the farmers market stand based on what is seasonally available. Prices can range from $10 per week to $50 per week depending on the amount of vegetables (full or half shares) and how they are grown (organic, natural, or conventional). Customers looking for a local Michigan reference to CSA can check out Taste the Local Difference’s website.

To a vegetable enthusiast, it is a way to get a weekly subscription of vegetables from a local farm to try new and trendy vegetables that may not be at the grocery store.  This weekly interaction is a great way to get to know their local farmer and growing practices. Some farms even let enthusiastic CSA subscribers help at the farm as part of their CSA responsibilities.

Upcoming CSA events:

National CSA Day is February 28th, 2020

2020 Greater Lansing CSA Fair: Sunday, March 22, 12:00 – 3:00 pm — People’s Church in East Lansing

Local CSA’s in Clinton County:

CBI‘s Giving Tree Farm  https://www.facebook.com/givingtreefarmlansing/

FireFly Ridge https://www.facebook.com/CSAFarmers/

Faivor Fresh Produce https://faivor-fresh-produce.square.site/

Ten Hens Farm https://www.tenhensfarm.com/