Ever wonder why you buy a “share” of produce from the farm? A CSA farm sells “shares” of produce to the community. These shares provide the farm with capital for operating expenses before the produce is harvested. It saves the farmer from having to rely solely on the farmers market, assures them their produce will be sold, and guarantees an income rain or shine for the farm. In other words, a CSA gives small, family owned farms a chance to make it.
The USDA defines CSA as: “… a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Typically, members or “share-holders” of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer’s salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production. Members also share in the risks of farming, including poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests. By direct sales to community members, who have provided the farmer with working capital in advance, growers receive better prices for their crops, gain some financial security, and are relieved of much of the burden of marketing. “
Sounds amazing, right? What could be better? Buying locally; eating organic, super-fresh food; supporting a small farm; helping the local economy.
Many of you voted in that poll a few months ago that you were so grateful to be a part of the Monroe’s CSA that you’d be happy to help with some volunteering. A great way to help out would be to volunteer to help at the Harvest Festival on September 20th (watch for details in the newsletters), and while at the festival, remind each other to take only the U-Pick crops on the list the Monroe’s give us. The other crops will be for our shares in the coming weeks, and for the Monroe’s to take to market (since they still need to sell that produce too)!
Farming is a risky business. So much depends on the weather and good timing! Added to that, organic farming means there are no pesticides, so there’s a risk of insects as well. I’m so glad Jerry knows what he’s doing and he is masterfully making sure we get the very best every year! We have made wise investments buying a share with the Monroe’s!