A CSA (community-supported agriculture) most often refers to a particular network or association of individuals who have pledged support to one or more local farms, with growers and consumers sharing the risks and benefits of food production. CSA members or subscribers pay at the onset of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest. Once harvesting begins, they receive weekly shares of vegetables and fruit. A CSA usually works by subscription. A customer signs up for a weekly or bi-monthly delivery of fresh vegetables and/or fruit. The contents will vary week to week as selected by the farmer on the basis of seasonality and availability. From time to time, some CSA’s may offer the option of purchasing extra goods to be delivered along with the CSA, such as dairy produce and meat.
Often, CSA’s also include herbs, honey, eggs, dairy products and meat, in addition to conventional produce offerings. In theory, a CSA can provide any product to its members, although the majority of CSA operations tend to provide produce, fruits, and various edibles. Some CSA programs also include cut flowers and various ornamental plants as part of their weekly pickup arrangement. Some CSAs provide for contributions of labor in lieu of a portion of subscription costs.
New residents, Aliza and Tim Cummings from The Gathering Place at Meadowcreek, will be offering a 2014 CSA to residents in and around Stone County.