Community Supported Agriculture

vegetables in basketsA method of marketing used by some fruit, vegetable and livestock producers is known as community supported agriculture (CSA). A grower contacts interested buyers at the beginning of the season and offers shares to purchase. Customers buy the shares or subscriptions for the season. Payment for the season is preferably made up front.

As fruit and vegetable crops are harvested during the growing season, they are delivered directly or to key distribution points each week for customers to pick up. Some farms allow their customers to provide labor in exchange for part or all of the value of the subscription. According to the 2007 Census of Agriculture (2009), more than 12,500 U.S. farms reported marketing products through a CSA.


Community Supported Ag, National Ag LIbrary, USDA.

2007 Census of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA, 2009.

Other Links

Businesses/Case Studies

  • Full Belly Farm, Guinda, California - Full Belly Farm is a 300-acre certified organic farm that supplies produce to a CSA, farmers' markets and wholesale and retail accounts. 
  • Silver Creek Farm, Hiram, Ohio, Rodale Institute - Silver Creek Farm is Ohio's oldest CSA enterprise. It offers its members a variety of options. They can buy shares including eggs, chicken, lamb, flowers and/or hand-knit sweaters.
  • Sisters Hill Farm, Stanfordville, New York - This CSA with more than 200 members is managed by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul of New York. 

Links checked November 2012.