What is CSA?

Photo by Amanda Taborga Photography

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. CSA happens to be the name chosen over 30 years ago by some of the first farmers in the U.S. to organize their farms in a new way. The farmers were having a hard time making ends meet by selling produce at the farmer’s market. They found a group of local families that wanted to support the farm financially so it could stay in business. Those families, called “members,” could enjoy the farm’s produce and help ensure that the land could be used for farming for years to come. In return for their financial commitment, the members received a “share” of the harvest.

Sometimes known as co-ops or subscription farms, the CSA movement has grown and matured since the 1980’s. Each farm is unique to its land, its farmers, and its members, but the goal remains the same: a direct relationship between the farm and the people who eat what grows there.

As a member of the Heirloom Farm CSA, your subscription fee purchases a portion of our farm’s harvest for one growing season. Our goal is to provide you with an abundance of high-quality fresh produce weekly at the same or lower cost than your local grocery store.

CSA members share the risks of growing crops. If the harvest is bountiful, you share in that abundance. If pests or weather negatively affect yield, you share in the lack while keeping us in business for the next season.

Why take that risk? The varieties of produce that we choose to grow are not typically available at your local grocery store because they are harder to grow on a large commercial scale and often do not ship well over long distances. Instead, we grow varieties that we select for their excellent flavor and beauty, not their durability. If having access to delicious, affordable, fresh, and biologically diverse produce grown locally without chemical pesticides or fertilizers is important to you, you can show your support by subscribing to an Heirloom Farm CSA share.

It is in our best interest to do everything in our power to maximize yield and keep you happy so you’ll continue your membership for years to come. Our goal is to communicate well so you are always aware of crop status and can make plans both in times of abundance and in shortage situations.

Another benefit you receive as a CSA member is the close member-farmer relationship we will develop with each other. You will know who grows your food, where it grows, how it is grown, and you can observe and even participate in the process first-hand. Simply put, it is fun to be a CSA member! Click here to select your share size.