Community Supported Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture


Community Supported Agriculture consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Typically, members or “share-holders” of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer’s salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production. 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.

AFSIC also has developed specific resources on this topic. They include:

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Find a CSA Farm

Search National farm databases by city, state, or ZIP

Search State and regional farm directories

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What is Community Supported Agriculture?

Defining Community Supported Agriculture

Surveys and Statistics


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Where to Find More Information

Organizations and Web Sites Related to Community Supported Agriculture, updated January 2006.

Publications About Community Supported Agriculture.

Search AGRICOLA, the NAL Catalog.

AGRICOLA (AGRICultural Online Access) is a bibliographic database of citations to the agricultural literature created by the National Agricultural Library (NAL) and its cooperators. The records describe publications and resources encompassing all aspects of agriculture and allied disciplines. [Learn more about AGRICOLA.]

Search strategy: (“community supported agriculture”) or (“community supported farm???”) or (“CSA farm???”) or (“subscription farm???”) or (“box scheme?”) or (“teikei”) books articles
Subject browse: Community Supported Agriculture   browse
  • Tip: To browse AGRICOLA using other terms, go to Under the NAL Catalog or the Articles Database column, select “Browse,” select “Subject Browse,” enter a subject term in the box labeled “Find,” and then select “Submit.”

See Community Supported Agriculture – Automated Database Searches to search additional resources.

Additional Information for Farmers

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Eating Seasonally and Regionally

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Community Food Systems: Farm-to-School, Food Circles,
and Farmers’ Markets

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The Sustainable/Organic Agriculture Connection

Information from USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture supports three major programs that offer sustainable agriculture information and assistance. Whether you are a farmer, an educator or a researcher seeking more information about sustainable agriculture in general, about a specific crop, or help with a specific problem, these programs can help. Contact information for each program and a description of each program’s area of specialization are provided below.

  • Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program
    Provides grant opportunities; maintains diverse portfolio of research projects; synthesizes research results and on-farm experiences to develop books, introductory bulletins and educator guides.

  • ATTRA – The National Sustainable Agriculture Informtion Service, a program of the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT)
    National information service answers questions about specific farming practices and innovative marketing approaches, including organic production.

  • Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC)
    Collects, organizes and distributes information on alternative agriculture and provides high-level searching and reference services from the National Agricultural Library’s vast collection and world-wide databases.


2 thoughts on “Community Supported Agriculture”

  1. Wow there’s alot of information there. Do you have experience of this yourself? I would be interestedin setting up this type of operation on a small scale locally.


  2. I have lived in households that did this but I personally have not done it. I plan on doing it this spring if I can afford to. A lot of times it is easier and more convenient to live unhealthy all the way around. Meaning personally, community/economically, and environmentally. If I look at the big picture I would say how can I afford not to do this. I really want to do this this year and in my area it can be done through the farmers market, I am pretty sure. If not they will be able to point me in the right direction.

    Happy Sailing!


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