CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is a way for the food buying public to create a relationship with a farm and receive a weekly basket of produce. Subscriptions can be as different as one farm is from another – they vary in price, duration, options and goods offered. By making a financial commitment to a farm, individuals and families become "members" (or "shareholders," or "subscribers") of the CSA, therefore sharing the risks and rewards associated with farming. In return, shareholders receive a weekly basket (or crate, or tote…) of fresh, seasonal, healthy produce that is (in this case) grown using sustainable and organic methods. In short, CSA programs connect people with their food. The closer you are to the food you purchase, the better it is for you, your family, the local economy, and the environment. The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture has a wonderful quote about the local food movement that they call the Ten Dollar Solution:
If every household in Western Pennsylvania spent $10 a week on regionally-produced food, $15 million dollars would stay in the local economy each week. That's $60 million every month, and over $700 million per year. Spending money on local food not only sustains our economy, it provides us with greater nutrition, preserves family farms, generates job opportunities, and beautifies the rural and urban landscape. And don't forget that locally grown foods are likely to be fresher, tastier and safer for you and your family.