Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
CSA is a fast growing movement in which a community of individuals share both the bounty and the risk of a farm or group of farms. Typically, members of the CSA pay the farmer(s) in advance for weekly shares of the farm's harvest. Different from many other agriculture marketing plans, the members reconnect to the land and participate directly in food production. By direct sales to community members, who have provided the farmer with working capital in advance, growers receive better prices for their crops, gain some financial security, and are relieved of much of the burden of marketing.
Most CSAs offer a diversity of vegetables, fruits, and herbs in season; some provide a full array of farm produce, including shares in eggs, meat, baked goods, and even firewood. Some farms offer a single commodity, or team up with others. Each CSA is structured to meet the needs of the participants, so many variations exist, including the level of financial commitment and active participation by the shareholders and details of payment plans and distribution systems.