Monday, March 30, 2009
This week, I want to take some time to reiterate the philosophy of CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. CSA members invest in a farm or farms at the beginnning of the growing season. In exchange for this investment, community members receive a share of the harvest. At Eat Outside the Box, we receive shares weekly. Not all CSAs distribute shares at this frequency. Distribution of shares is not a "given." Members in a CSA share the risk with the farmers involved in the relationship. We also share in the bounty.
In the case of our CSA, the money we invest allows the farm to invest in seeds and make decisions related to our needs. The farmer is planning and planting for us. In addition, as members we are learning what is seasonal. Sometimes, we may not like what is seasonal. My feeling is that the reason for this is that we have forgotten how to eat seasonally. Our tastes have evolved along with our supermarket shelves rather than our actual local harvests.
The goal of CSA is to create a more direct relationship with our food, to understand what is growing in our neighborhood and to raise awareness about the importance of local agriculture.
CSA allows farmers to operate on a more human scale as well. Eaters put a face on farming and farmers put a face on eaters. I also see Eat Outside the Box as mechanism to bring together people with like minds who want to eat fresh, local foods in support of local farmers. Thus we work to create a sense of community based around seasonal food and including those who produce our food.