What is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and how does it work?
...but easier, and closer to home!
Have you ever thought about joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) or Farm Share program in New Jersey, but weren't exactly sure what that meant or where to begin? Here are the basics in an (organic) nutshell: you join a CSA and pay a membership fee - your seasonal "share" of the farm - at the beginning of the growing season (to help the farm at the time it most needs money - for example, to buy and plant crops) and, in exchange, you get a "share" of everything grown on the farm that season.
In addition to supporting local farmers, CSAs also often have community events and opportunities to learn about farming and visit the farm. And as a member, you'll receive a changing share of fresh local vegetables, fruits, and sometimes even flowers, herbs and honey depending on what your farm grows. Each week, your family can expect to receive a variety of veggies.
At most farms, your weekly share is truly a share—that means if one week a particular crop is plentiful, you might get 5 pounds of cucumbers, but if the next week a crop doesn't do as well, you could find yourself with two carrots instead of two bunches. Some years, the entire season is great. Other years, hurricanes, excessive rain, etc. hurt crop production. Deliveries typically begin at the end of May and run through October.