We small farmers love to celebrate CSA day but perhaps you are wondering what CSA is and why we care so much about it. Here is your primer to Community Supported Agriculture.
CSA’s or Community Supported Agriculture are a box program of the best produce that a farm, or in our case farms, have to offer you. You pay in advance for the box and it is delivered regularly to a location near you or even better, picked up on farm. The deal is that community members who value access to local fresh food and support their local farmers commit to buying a weekly box in the spring. That purchase is an investment in their farm and in a good year you share the abundance and bounty, sometimes getting more than your investment. The risk is if it is a bad year, they don’t receive their value but the reality is most times, at least in our case, our boxes are overflowing with extras. So you generally get more than you paid for.
We choose the best from our fields for our committed members because we value your belief in us.
Why do CSA’s matter?
The committed sales that CSA’s provide are very valuable for small farms. That means money is coming in when there is not a lot to sell at market. That cash flow affords our seasonal business the opportunity to pay for seeds, amendments, infrastructure when we need it, and not put it on credit.
The other important piece of this model is that it allows small farms to grow. As each farm explores our limits, we discover how much more we can push ourselves as farmers. If last year we committed to 100 shares and find we can do it, we can explore how we can add another 25 shares the next year. This incremental growth is good for the farmer, but also very important when we think of local food sustainability.
If a community wants access to local food, it needs to be growing its farmers. Farmers, as we all know are working with small financial margins and most are only successful due to one person having an off farm job. By committing to your local farmer, with secured funds in advance, they have the ability to grow their farm and market in predictable ways.
So, today on CSA Day, we thank all of you who have supported us in the past and present. You make a great difference to small farms like ours.
To those who haven’t yet, consider joining a CSA or if you already have repost this and urge your friends to do so. It affects everyone’s future.
Follow this link to find out more: https://mervilleorganics.ca/csa-general/
ps Thanks to CSA Member Michelle Rankin for the amazing quilt of veggies, this was her 2017 CSA share last summer