In 2015, Small Farm Central released the 2014 CSA Farming Annual Report, which gathered data from more than 250 CSA farmers and almost 53,000 memberships. Among other interesting facts, the report showed that the most popular day for CSA Signups in 2014 was Friday February 28. So in 2015, the first National CSA Signup Day was held on Saturday February 28. CSA farmers offered special CSA Signup Day discounts and promotions and enjoyed an influx of signups from members wanting to support local agriculture. This year, CSA Day is about more than getting lots of CSA signups; it’s a whole day dedicated to the celebration of community-supported agriculture.Download the 2015 Report
What is a CSA?
CSA stands for “community supported agriculture,” which is a direct-to-customer business model for farmers. In the traditional CSA model, people pay for a season’s worth of produce (a membership), sometimes months in advance. The CSA member then receives a box of fruits and vegetables every week throughout the harvesting season. This is great for the farmers because they get the revenue when they most need it to get ready for the growing season.
Today, there are many different ways to manage and be part of a CSA. CSA shares (the weekly delivery) come in different sizes (half-share, whole-share) and different frequencies (weekly, biweekly) to accommodate different household preferences. Some farmers offer add-ons like eggs, bread or flowers. In some models, the member can pick and choose what she wants in the box each week. Some CSAs more closely resemble buying clubs, where the members pay every month until they cancel. There are also CSFs (community-supported fisheries) that use the CSA model to support their fisheries.
Not sure if you’re in a CSA? Check out our handy infographic.