What is Community Supported Agriculture?
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an arrangement in which consumers and farmers share responsibility for the production and delivery of food. The CSA partnership fosters mutual respect and support between a community of eaters and a community of farmers, and allows members to make a connection to the land and a commitment to environmentally-friendly food production.
What are the Benefits?
Did you know that by eating locally, you're actually making an environmentally conscious decision? On average, the food you see in grocery stores has traveled around 1500 miles before it is unloaded from the truck. Long distance travel like this demands the use of large quantities of fossil fuels, leading to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. The produce that we supply through our CSA travels an average of only 20 miles, meaning you are greatly reducing your carbon footprint by participating. Additionally, all of our farms are committed to using sustainable agricultural practices so as to be good stewards of their land, and all of the produce that comes in our shares is Certified Organic or Certified Naturally Grown.
By participating in a CSA, you are putting money back into your local economy instead of allowing it to go off to another city, state, or even country. You are helping to support Georgia farmers by "sharing risk", though don't let this term scare you. This simply means that, by buying your shares up front, you are providing the farmers with a guarantee that they will have a market. In turn, they will do their best to provide you with a bountiful harvest each week.
The fresher the produce, the healthier it is for you! Studies from the University of California1 show that up to 75% of the vitamin C in produce is lost in the first week. Grocery store produce can often take 5 days to reach the store, meaning that this nutrient loss is already well underway by the time you pick it up. Most of our produce is harvested the day before you receive it, meaning it's not only fresher and tastier, but also packed with nutrients!
CSAs help put a face to your food by connecting the produce you're eating to the person who grew and harvested it. Not only do they allow you to get to know your local farmers, but they also help create connections between members when they come to pick up their shares each week. Here at Collective Harvest, we strive to foster that sense of community and promote friendly, reciprocal relationships between the producer and the consumer.
For information on how our CSA operates and to sign up, click here.