What is a CSA?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by famer_manda, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. famer_manda

    famer_manda I Love CHICKENS!

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    How does it work? How much land does one need to run a decent CSA? I believe it has to do with selling fruits, veggies, eggs and meat? organic i am guessing?
     
  2. beorning

    beorning Well-Known Member

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    Community supported agriculture. Someone with land raises a variety of veggies, etcetera. They sell shares instead of veggies. A share is usually somewhere in the neighborhood of 150-300 dollars. In exchange for purchasing the share, each member is promised a selection of produce/farm product throughout the growing season. I've seen organic and not organic. Typically it isn't stuff that has been doused in pesticide. If it isn't organic it's usually because it just hasn't been certified yet. I've seen it done with just a couple of acres, or a decent sized farm. There are usually predetermined drop off points in nearby towns/cities that the farmer delivers to weekly. Sometimes, you can work for your share, instead of paying for it.

    Here are some links:

    http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/csa/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Community-supported_agriculture

    http://www.umassvegetable.org/food_farming_systems/csa/
     

  3. famer_manda

    famer_manda I Love CHICKENS!

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    Where do you find people? run ads or word of mouth?
     
  4. beorning

    beorning Well-Known Member

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    Mostly, I've seen word of mouth. If you live next to a semi-progressive town or city, you shouldn't have too many problems. I'd put ads up in local food co-ops, health food stores, etcetera. If there is a progressive newspaper, I'd run something in there, too. There are sometimes organizations you can join that provide web links and other advertising for members. Maybe print some fliers. You could also try to find someone local who is allready doing it to talk to. Usually the shares get sold pre-season, so you don't end up with a ton of stuff and no one to buy it. Farmers market might be another good place to advertise. Sell some produce and pass out fliers to customers.
     
  5. LagoVistaFarm

    LagoVistaFarm Well-Known Member

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    As one of the best CSA farmers I know says: "it graduate school level farming" You don't start out by starting a CSA. Basicly the customers get a box of the best the farm has to offer that week. They usually include helpfull hints for that week.

    One of the largest and best in the west is:

    http://www.fullbellyfarm.com/

    Another great one is:

    http://www.twosmallfarms.com/

    Don't think that you can even get close to their prices. They are renowned throughout the west.
     
  6. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We get most of our members by word of mouth referrals, but we also receive lots of inquiries from www.localharvest.org/ and that is the first place I look for local stuff that we don't grow ourselves.
     
  7. famer_manda

    famer_manda I Love CHICKENS!

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    I would love to start something like this.. It sounds very interesting to me
     
  8. Shinsan

    Shinsan Keeping the Dream Alive

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    Has anyone reading these posts ever heard of L.E.T.S., (Local Energy Trading Schemes)? They are becoming quite common in some parts of rural Australia, however I've never seen any reference to them in U.S. forums.