Community Supported Agriculture

18 04 2008

When I was living in Peoria, I saw an interesting story on Community Shared Agriculture or CSA’s on the local news.

With the price of gas pushing up the cost of food all over the country and the recent contamination scares with produce grown both in the U.S. and abroad- many are turning to locally grown organic produce to insure food safety and lower prices.

We visited a farm in Congerville.

It’s called Henry’s Farm and it works like a corporation that sells its stock to its customers.

It’s a way to get locally grown organic produce and truly have a stake in what you’re feeding your family.

“We do tell them that you’re going to share like you would in a company- with certain risks and rewards and you’re part of our operation,” said Terra Brockman, Henry’s sister.

Like the article suggests, CSA’s are a way to get farm fresh produce and support local farmers.  Every farm does it differently, but the idea is the same.  The farm sells a share then every week, the “shareholders” get fresh produce that was grown on the site.  The downfall is you don’t get to choose what you get.  Whatever the farmer feels is ripe and ready to be picked is what you get.  Everyone in the group gets the same thing.  The food that is harvested that week is divided evenly among the shareholders.  Usually, you can get 13-16 weeks of food during the harvest season for right around or under $500.  Most CSA’s have pick-up points in town or at the farm itself.  Some CSA’s will require that it’s members work on the farm, but most don’t.  Something to check into before signing up.

There are risks involved.  When you buy into a CSA’s, you’re buying into all the costs associated with the farm.  The farmer determines what his costs to farm are going to be and what his salary for farming will be.  The shareholders pay that cost no matter what.

Members also share in the risks of farming, including poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests. 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.

So, where can you find a CSA in Mid-Michigan? 

  • Our Farm and Dairy – 4633 Essex Center Rd., St. Johns MI 48879, (989)-224-7353
  • Wildflower Organic Farm – 14650 Center Rd., Bath, MI 48808, (517) 641-4761
  • Owosso Organics – 3378 Mason Rd., Owosso, MI 48867, (989) 725-3151
  • The Giving Tree Farm – 15433 Turner Road, Lansing, MI 48906 (517) 482-8885
  • Titus Farms – 3765 N. Meridian Rd., Leslie, MI 49251 (517) 589-5543
  • MSU Organic Farm – MSU Horticulture Teaching and Research Facility 3291 College Rd. Holt, MI 48825 (517) 230-7987
  • Our Asparagus Patch and Gardens – 12650 Sutfin Road, Horton, MI 49246 (517) 529-9054
  • Tantre Farm – 2510 Hayes Road, Chelsea, MI 48118 (734) 475-4323

If you want to look for a CSA in your area, check out Local Harvest

Advertisements