ANN ARBOR - What is a CSA?
Standing for Community Supported Agriculture, a CSA is a farm-share program in which the consumer buys a share of a farm's harvest for the season ahead of time, becoming a member of that farm and picking up produce regularly.
In order to promote local farms and help build a bridge between farmers and the community, the Ann Arbor Farmers Market is hosting a fair on Saturday, April 21 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. to help you find the best CSA for you.
Each CSA is managed differently, so it is important to shop around and figure out which farm best suits your needs.
You'll be able to meet with the farmers themselves and ask them questions about their farm-share programs.
Participating farms in CSA Day:
- Bayport Fish
- Brines Farm
- Coblentz Acres
- Community Farm
- Goetz Greenhouse
- Green Things Farm
- Harvest Kitchen
- Kapnick’s Orchard
- Songbird Farm
- Lake Divide Farm
- Our Family Farm
- Seeley Farm
- Tantre Farm
- Whitney Farmstead
The price range for produce shares is generally $450-650 per share and typically includes a weekly box of vegetables and/or fruits. Half-shares are also available at many CSAs.
CSA members can pick up their shares weekly or bi-weekly either directly from the farm or the market -- the location depends on the farmers' preferences.
Farmers sell produce at Ann Arbor Farmers Market on Oct. 4, 2017 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)
Inspired from the popularity of produce CSAs, other types of shares offering eggs, milk, meat and other farm products are now available as well.
Another interesting fact? Some CSAs are year-round, even with the notoriously cold Michigan winters.
According to Ann Arbor Farmers Market:
"CSAs ensure that farmers are better able to pay for up-front costs such as such as seed, water and equipment -- ideally making them less reliant on banks and loans. They also help to spread the risk among producers and consumers when growing seasons are more challenging, all the while evenly distributing the benefits when the season is bountiful. CSAs encourage a direct producer-consumer relationship by cutting out the 'middle-man,' and they foster a stronger sense of community that helps to reinforce the regional food supply."
Learn more about the CSA Day event on the Ann Arbor Farmers Market Facebook page.
Shop at the market every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 315 Detroit St.
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