CSA is short for community supported agriculture. Here is what the fabulous website, Localharvest, has to say about CSA’s.
Many farms offer produce subscriptions, where buyers receive a weekly or monthly basket of produce, flowers, fruits, eggs, milk, meats, or any sort of different farm products.
A CSA, (for Community Supported Agriculture) is a way for the food buying public to create a relationship with a farm and to receive a weekly basket of produce. By making a financial commitment to a farm, people become “members” (or “shareholders,” or “subscribers”) of the CSA. Most CSA farmers prefer that members pay for the season up-front, but some farmers will accept weekly or monthly payments. Some CSAs also require that members work a small number of hours on the farm during the growing season.
A CSA season typically runs from late spring through early fall. The number of CSAs in the United States was estimated at 50 in 1990, and has since grown to over 2200.
While spring may be a while off, right now is the time to sign up for a local CSA. Many of them have begun to take subscriptions and if you wait to sign up until spring, it may be too late. They may not have any more subscriptions to offer.
LocalHarvest has a search feature that allows you to find CSA’s in your local area. On the CSA page, simply type in your zip code and a list of CSA’s that are in your region will be generated. There were 46 listings generated when I typed in my own SJ zipcode – some more convenient than others, and one that I am considering joining.
If you want to stretch your locavore wings, then joining a CSA is a great way to do it. You will get local in season produce and other food and you will be supporting a local farmer. They need all the support they can get.