This year’s CSA Day at the Winter Farmers’ Market on Saturday, February 23rd, from 10am–2pm at Wentworth Greenhouses in Rollinsford, promises to be our largest ever! In addition to our regular cadre of farmers and food producers selling their locally grown and made foods at the market, 18 farms with CSA shares will be available to discuss their programs and sign up members.
What is a CSA?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is defined as a food production and distribution system that directly connects farmers and consumers. The term has become so well-used that CSA now also refers to an individual farm’s CSA program. Basically, consumers buy “shares” in a farm’s harvest in advance and receive regular allotments of food throughout the growing season. This way, farmers earn important early-season capital as well as a ready market and community of supporters. Shareholders join in the risks of the growing season but reap the benefits of the harvest, including field-fresh produce and greater access to high-demand fruits and vegetables, not to mention rare and heirloom varieties.
How does a CSA work?
Each CSA has its own pricing structure and distribution schedule. Most require a seasonal buy-in and offer weekly pick-ups or even an option for location pick-up. Some programs offer flexible choice, farm stand shares, or add-ons such as meat, bread, or dairy. Many CSAs also offer farm visits, u-pick days, and other special events for members.
Choosing a CSA
To find out which CSA is right for you, we’ve put together a list of questions you might want to consider and ask farmers at the CSA Day, such as how much produce is in a share, what foods can be expected, and how many weeks the share is for. We also suggest checking out this website, which has other questions to consider when choosing the best CSA to suit your needs.
CSAs are a terrific way for you to strengthen and expand your connection to local food, seasonal produce, and especially, the people who grow it. There are a lot of diverse options for pick-up locations, share structures, available foods, and farm involvement. Come to CSA Day and find the right option for you!