Farming is Becoming a Service. Here’s How to Benefit From It
By John Robb
Farming is increasingly becoming a service.
The reasons for this are simple.
People want the freshness, quality, and meaning they get from buying local food from people they know. It’s also great for the farmer, since it enables them to directly interact with customers again.
One of the ways this service is being provided is Community Supported Agriculture, or a CSA.
A CSA is essentially a subscription to a farm’s output, usually delivered weekly. Here’s what a good sized box looks like (via dirtandveggies):
The weekly delivery system works nicely to the benefit of both the resilient customer and the farmer. The customer gets freshly picked, locally procured, high quality produce, that is grown in a way that they approve of (this is going to become very, very important when the GMO bubble pops).
The farmer benefits from a predictable income stream. Income that is paid upfront (instead of being reliant of volatile commodity markets and government subsidies) by willing customers.
To cement the bond, CSA farmers are increasingly holding harvest festivals and other programs for their subscribers to provide them with a deeper connection to the farm.
If you don’t already subscribe to a CSA, do so. In addition to the factors cited above, it’s a nice compliment to the food you grow in your garden and a beneficial addition to your community’s resilience. How so? The more edible food (in contrast to endless acres of corn and soybeans) grown locally, the better. It’s important to remember that resilience is a community effort, and the more producers there are the better. You don’t have to produce everything yourself.
For help finding a CSA, here’s a resource called Local Harvest (as you can see, CSAs are already everywhere and growing).
I’ll have much more on the future of CSA soon.