CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture”. Members of a CSA subscribe to a share of a farms weekly produce for a season or a year and pay upfront. CSAs may be farm-based, or consumer based: for a short informative article on different types of CSA, please see this link: http://www.fix.com/blog/farm-to-table/ Spiritual Food CSA is consumer based.CSA involves commitment, community, trust, nutritious and great tasting fresh food, eating locally and seasonally, and developing and practicing a spirit of service. The farmers do their best to provide a good supply of great food; the organizers handle all the transportation and logistics, and members provide the working capital and may also chose to participate in a number of activities such as volunteering on pick-up day, bagging dry goods at home, visiting the farm, and joining the yahoo group where members share recipes and sell shares when going out of town.
History of Community Supported AgricultureCSA grew out of the Biodynamic (BD) agriculture movement which was initiated by Rudolf Steiner who was seriously concerned about the advent of chemical farming in the early 1900's. He was also concerned about the concomitant exploitation of farmers, and loss of human values, as societies world-wide shifted from being agriculture based to industrialization. The CSA movement started in the US in 1985 and has steadily grown in popularity --as of 2012 there were an estimated 6,000 to 6,500 CSAs in the U.S.
BD Farmers and consumers created together the CSA model to: 1) free farmers from market pressures and exploitation 2) build community around a farm 3) give real food security to the local people 4) promote the healing of the planet. CSA is a social and earth- justice movement based on spiritual principles. CSA allows farmers to work outside of market competition, and members are ensured a season or year’s worth of high quality food. It is a win-win situation for farmers, consumers and the earth.
The Spiritual Food CSA highlights these principles:
In Biodynamics, food is grown in a non-commercial way, with no synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, etc. BD agriculture propagates a balanced, sustainable eco-system; avoids overuse of water and fuel in farming practices; and avoids waste by composting or up-cycling. The CSA farmer-to-consumer model drastically reduces packaging thereby reducing the environmental impact of producing and disposing of single-use plastic and paper.
CSA builds local economies and communities which offsets globalization and contributes to a sustainable economic system which allows conscientious farmers to stay in business and attracts young people to the profession.
Members benefit from fresh, nourishing, Biodynamic and organic food which we call Sattwic (pure) or spiritual food.
With watered-down organic regulations, and genetically manipulated ingredients in many commercial products, we believe the only way to ensure truly pure food is through direct contact with good farmers.
To learn more please see these interesting and inspiring articles:
The History of Community Supported Agriculture Part 1
The History of Community Supported Agriculture Part 2