Community Supported Agriculture | The Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a direct marketing alternative for small-scale growers of freshly grown food An innovative method of subscription farming, CSAs were largely introduced into the U.S. by the Biodynamic movement. In a CSA, the (often small-scale) farmer grows food for a group of shareholders (or subscribers) who pledge to buy a portion of the farm’s crop that season. This arrangement gives growers up-front cash to finance their operation and higher prices for produce, since the middleman has been eliminated. Besides receiving a weekly box or bag of fresh, high-quality produce, shareholders also know that they’re directly supporting a local farm.
In its treatment of the farm as a self-contained entity or farm organism, Biodynamics completes the circle (social and environmental sustainability) with appropriate marketing schemes to support the economic viability (economic sustainability) of farms. The Demeter label for certified biodynamically grown foods is one avenue. A second outgrowth of this view is the Community Supported Agriculture movement.