Why and What is a CSA?
Community Share (or Supported) Agriculture (CSA) was first pioneered in Japan approximately 30 years ago. The concept was a modest response to the ever increasing demand on farmers to either "get big or get out". For the smaller, independent farmers who not only financially but morally or ethically would not bow under to the "manufacturing" mentality of farming, the CSA allows for the true at heart farmers to continue to work and provide an income to support their families as well as the community. Based on ten founding principles including Mutual Assistance, Self Distribution, Acceptance of Produce, Learning among each Group and Intended Production the concept was quickly adopted and has grown throughout Europe and now North America.
Community Share Agriculture farms are a partnership between the farmer and the "Community", its members.
The farmer provides land, resources and expertise. Members support financially and in many cases, time and labour as well. The fees or costs of membership is determined by the size of the Community, their wants and needs and the farmers ability to deliver. Together they accept the risks and commit to the values and design of the program.
There are risks.
Usually related to the whims of Mother Nature, such as excessive rain, hail storms or hot arid conditions which can lead to crop damage, failure or shortages. As well, insect control can be challenging in a naturally raised/organic garden. However, risk is minimal with prevention, education and sound agricultural practices.
More so are the rewards!
Weekly shares of dozens of varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers throughout the season, cultivated by hand without pesticides, synthetic growth treatments or genetically modified seed. Honest, healthy, heart warming food grown with the intent to nourish humans and animals as our bodies were designed to. Whispering Pines Farm & Garden has designed a CSA based on a multitude of fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs.
Not all CSA's are the same.
The options are endless. Fruits, vegetables, meat, chicken, dairy, even herbs and flowers, honey, syrups anything really that is naturally cultivated and raised, in essence farmed, can be included.
CSA's are not, however, for everyone.
CSA's are not grocery stores, displaying picture perfect (usually unripe, waxed and heavily chemical leadened) stands of produce, ready for you to pick and choose whatever you wish regardless of the season. Although there are similarities, CSA's are not Farmers Markets either where again, what is offered for purchase is based solely on the farmer and may or may not be naturally or organically grown or even produced by the farmer behind the stall at all!
CSA's are a commitment to weekly acceptance of what and how much is naturally ready for harvest.
CSA's are a philosophy. A social and economic model that allows you to control your family food budget and consumption. The benefits of belonging to a CSA are many. Besides providing fresh organically grown produce, a CSA farm provides the non-farmer with an understanding of the challenges and rewards of farming. It allows for people to re commit to a lifestyle based on the seasons, respecting the cycle of life and to respect the land that serves us. Family farmers can survive because of a guaranteed market that includes a dedicated community, a set income, and the freedom to experiment with new varieties and techniques. One of the final founding principles, Deepening Friendships, is an unexpected but true benefit. As members and their families meet and greet each other weekly to pick up their shares, the community becomes stronger, happier and healthier as well. It is a "win, win" solution to the ever increasing demands for healthier eating lifestyles, buying local and supporting our farmers.
Congratulations on your choice to welcome a CSA food system into your lifestyle and thank you for considering
the Whispering Pines Farm & Garden Community.