Why Join a CSA?

The function of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program stays true to its name: the community supports its agricultural businesses. In a CSA, individuals purchase a “share” of the harvest during the winter and early spring, before the season begins. Then, throughout the growing season, members come to the farm or visit a distribution site each week to pick up their pre-purchased shares of just-harvested vegetables. Shareholders financially support the farmer in advance of the growing season, thus supporting and trusting the farmers' ability to grow fresh vegetables for them.

 

The content of each week’s share truly follows the seasons, as everything is grown from seed to seedling, tended and then harvested on the premises. Cloverleigh Farm follows organic practices but is not yet certified (soon to be!) and uses no synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers and adheres to sustainable farming practices. In other words, we produce vegetables you can really feel good about eating. 

 

BENEFITS OF CSA FARMS FOR THE FARMER:

  1. The opportunity to get to know the people they grow for. Good ol’ job satisfaction.

  2. When farmers can identify their market before the beginning of the season, they can plan the use of their resources more efficiently, which means less waste (of both money and produce).

  3. Instead of spending time marketing already-grown vegetables during the warmer months, farmers can spend that time in the winter – marketing the vegetables they plan to grow. This means more time for them to focus on what’s important during the growing season; growing you stellar produce.

  4. A better market for growing a greater variety of produce, including heirloom varieties. 

  5. Eliminating the middle-man in the packaging, transportation, and selling of produce. This means more profit ends up in the growers pocket, which they can then reinvest in their business

  6. Better cash flow for farms as they plan for a new season. Early payments from shareholders means enough money to   buy equipment, farm supplies, and plan for labor expenses at the start of the season.

 

BENEFITS OF CSA FARMING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND OUR COMMUNITY:

  1. Elimination of the “hidden cost” of food production (i.e. environmental pollution, human disease, workers rights,  health care and more)Management for healthy soil. This means the soil remains productive and full of life now and into the future.

  2. Putting dollars into the local economy and local pockets.

  3. No groundwater pollution from pesticides and fertilizers (Cloverleigh Farm uses organic production methods), which ensures better drinking water for us and future generations.

  4. No damage to aquatic organisms from pollution caused by the runoff of fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides that are commonly used in chemical-intensive agriculture. Here at Cloverleigh Farm we grow with nature, not to dominate nature.

  5. Less CO2 emissions from the energy required to transport and refrigerate produce across long distances.

  6. Value and respect for all farm workers.

 

 

BENEFITS FOR MEMBERS:

  1. Create for yourself and the next generation a relationship with the earth that is good for cognitive development and overall happiness.

  2. Develop an understanding of what real food is and the value of its production, which means better nutritional choices and health throughout your life..

  3. Ability to feed yourself and your family produce that was grown without synthetic pesticides,herbicides, or fertilizers.

  4. Privilege of eating vibrant, just-harvested produce. If you’re a part of a CSA, say goodbye to wilted greens and tasteless tomatoes. Your produce will be harvested when it’s ripe and, in most cases, find its way into your kitchen within a day of being picked. This means more fresh, flavorful and nutrient-rich produce.

  5. Opportunity to pick some of your own food! Folks of all ages love to chance to harvest in the fields and enjoy some peaceful reflection.

  6. Access to heirlooms and more unusual produce varieties and the fun that comes with trying new things!

  7. Ability to get to know your farmers and develop a relationship of trust with those that nourish your family.

  8. Clean produce at a lower cost than the grocery store

 

Adopted and edited from http://simpleseasonal.com/