CSA Options Multiply

Nice mention of Seacoast Eat Local Board Member, Audrey Gerkin and Pickpocket Farm in the NH Agricultural Commissioner’s Weekly Market Bulletin. Via New Hampshire Farms Network:

We get a lot of questions about CSAs—or Community Supported Agriculture farms. This innovative marketing model involving produce shares or memberships has evolved to provide many choices for farmers and their customers. A growing number of farmers choose multiple marketing channels. Farmers may rely on a combination of farmstands, farmers markets, CSA programs, and sales to restaurants, schools, stores or other farms.

In general CSAs are business arrangements between farmers and customers that usually involve prepayment and commitment to a certain amount of food and other farm products over a certain period of time. The concept originated in Germany, Switzerland and Japan in the 1960s in response to concerns about food safety and the urbanization of farmland—and was first transplanted into the United States in the mid 1980s in western Massachusetts and Wilton, New Hampshire. German biodynamic farmer Trauger Groh and partners started the Temple-Wilton Community
Farm and CSA—which continues as the oldest continuously operating CSA in America. “Most CSAs are seasonal, and most have a fixed price for a fixed ‘share of the harvest’,” notes the Temple-Wilton Community Farm website. But from the beginning, this pioneering farm took a different approach. They provided milk and dairy products and grew winter storage vegetables to provide food to CSA members year-round. Member families choose what they need, and contribute toward the costs of the annual budget.

… Audrey Gerkin’s Pickpocket Farm & CSA http://pickpocketfarm.weebly.com/  in Brentwood is an example of a much smaller CSA. Gerkin changed careers from special education to balancing smaller-scale farming with raising three young daughters at home. Organizing her business exclusively as a CSA–serving 15 families—helps her achieve that balance and her goal of being at home with her children. Read more…

To find available CSA shares at area farms, visit SeacoastEatLocal.org or our online guide to local food, Seacoast Harvest.

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