Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) – Local Eating Made Simple

In my research to find local food resources I learned of a system called Community Shared Agriculture (CSA). CSA is a food distribution system where the growers are directly connected to the consumer. The consumer subscribes to a share of the year’s harvest (i.e. pays a flat fee up front) from a local farm in early spring, and in return, the shareholder receives a box of fresh produce weekly during the growing season. The share subscription provides the farmers with the capital to purchase seeds and farming supplies, and the shareholder gets an amazing supply of farm fresh produce weekly.

The size and variety of the shares depend on the farm you purchase from. Generally speaking, the farms offer at least a large and small size share. Some farms also offer a fruit box in addition to the veggie option. At Everdale Organic Farm , shareholders also have free access to the culinary herb garden, the flower garden for fresh cut flowers, and all the beans and peas you can pick when they are in season.

I think this is a fantastic idea – it really is what local eating is all about – supporting and connecting with the people who grow my food. I do have one reservation though – I LOVE going to farmers’ markets and checking out the different vendors each week. By signing up to be a shareholder, it eliminates the need to go to the markets, hmmm….I guess I can still go for the fish and local cheeses and all sorts of other goodies. On the other hand, I’ll get to try new veggies I normally wouldn’t buy and learn new recipes. Now the next question is: who should I sign up with? There’re quite a few close to the Toronto area. To minimize the environmental impact, I should pick one that is close to home.

Here are the CSAs I’ve found in Ontario so far; they are all in our database:

Everdale Organic Farm – near Guelph

Plan b Organic Farm – near Hamilton

rare Organic Farm – Cambridge

Simpler Thyme Organic Farm – Hamilton

Thurston Organic Farm – near Lindsay

Whole Circle Farm – Acton

Click here for an in-depth article on CSA from Green Living Ideas.

To find a CSA near you, go to our Find Local Food page and choose "CSA" as the supplier type.

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joshAyngelinatannyFarm Fresh Recent comment authors
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Hey! I found your blog via Google while searching for farm fresh and your post regarding Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) – Local Eating Made Simple looks very interesting to me

Ayngelina
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Great idea for a site, I’ll be checking here regularly.

I’m not sure if you have included Food Share’s Good Food Box but I joined about a month ago with the small organic food box. It’s only $22 and a steal for what you get. It’s not entirely local but a good 60% is coming from local farmers and in the winter they supplement it with non-local produce.

It’s a volunteer-run organization and they fund some really great programs in the city

http://www.foodshare.net/goodfoodbox01.htm

josh
Editor

I’m glad you like our site Ayngelina. We had a quick browse through your Flickr gallery and we love your photos – fantastic!

Thank you also for the tip on the Good Food Box. A friend of ours in also signed up for one and we added it to our database.

Let us know if how you like the Food Box. I’m sure it gets even yummier in the summer.

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[…] for the new season of farmers’ markets to start and I count down the days (24) to my first CSA share from Plan b Organics.  I look forward to the summer months where I’ll have more time […]

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[…] in the summer.  We go to Fresh from the Farm to stock up on meats every few weeks and we have our CSA from Plan B. We only got a half share and we find it challenging to finish all the veggies each […]