We love our local farms and the bounty we find at their stands. A CSA, Community Supported Agriculture, is a way to show loyalty to your favorite farm. In the traditional CSA model, people pay for a season’s worth of produce (a membership), sometimes months in advance. The CSA member then receives a box of fruits and vegetables every week throughout the harvesting season. This is great for the farmers because they get the revenue when they most need it to get ready for the growing season.
Today, there are many different ways to manage and be part of a CSA. CSA shares (the weekly delivery) come in different sizes (half-share, whole-share) and different frequencies (weekly, biweekly) to accommodate different household preferences. Some farmers offer add-ons like eggs, bread or flowers. In some models, the member can pick and choose what she wants in the box each week. Some CSAs more closely resemble buying clubs, where the members pay every month until they cancel.
On the East End, there are great options to choose from for a Winter/Spring or Summer/Fall CSA share. Favorites include Golden Earthworm, Riverhead; Garden of Eve Organic Farm, Riverhead; and Sang Lee Farms, Peconic; with more throughout. Explore more farms on our website.
What is CSA Day? In 2015, Small Farm Central released the 2014 CSA Farming Annual Report, which gathered data from more than 250 CSA farmers and almost 53,000 memberships. Among some interesting facts, the report showed that the most popular day for CSA Sign-ups in 2014 was Friday, February 28. So in 2015, the first National CSA Sign-up Day was held on Saturday, February 28. CSA farmers offered special discounts and promotions and enjoyed an influx of sign-ups from members wanting to support local agriculture. This year, CSA Day is about more than getting lots of CSA sign-ups; it’s a whole day dedicated to the celebration of community-supported agriculture.
There are many benefits to joining a CSA. Garden of Eve Organic Farm shares with us what it’s all about.
A CSA is like a subscription, or a vegetable-of-the-week club. You get to enjoy a mini-farmers market, all in one pick up.
You pay in full for your share before the distributions begin in early June, and in return for your commitment to our farm we provide you with just-picked organic produce at a good value, as well as farm trips, news, recipes, and a community of like-minded people to get to know. Summer/Fall Shares are 24 weeks, except sunflower shares which will be 10 weeks (July 1-Sept 6).
What are the benefits?
We recommend looking further into joining a CSA share program if you enjoy fresh, local produce. It helps you and the farmers in your community.