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Community supported agriculture

What is community supported agriculture

Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Although each CSA program is unique, here are the basics of how it works:

  1. A farmer offers "shares" to the public (shares typically include fresh vegetables, but some also offer other farm products such as fruit, eggs, meat, or cheese).
  2. You buy a share.
  3. You get a box of seasonal produce and goods each week during the growing season.

Each CSA program has its own payment and delivery options. Some deliver boxes to a central location, while others ask you to pick up from their farm. Some offer produce only, while others have extras or add-ons. Some offer payment plans, while others ask for payment up-front. Some offer different sizes of shares, while others have only one choice. Although costs vary, expect it to range from about $18 to $25 per week for a two-person share or $30 to $40 per week for a four-person share.

Why promote CSA?

By promoting and supporting CSAs, you help your local community and economy. Here are some of the benefits for your staff, the farmers, and the community.

Staff benefits

  • Access to fresh, local, seasonal food
  • Exposure to new produce and new ways to cook them
  • Grow a relationship with the farmer and their food

Farmer benefits

  • Sell direct, cut out middle-man fees
  • Boost cash flow before the growing season
  • Grow a relationship with their customers

Community benefits

  • Strengthen the local economy
  • Increased access to fresh, seasonal produce

How can I help?

You can help by promoting CSAs as part of your wellness program. Try to work with some farms to deliver CSA shares directly to your worksite. Follow the four steps below to get started:

  1. Use the Guide to CSA Delivery at State Worksites
  2. Determine employee interest and management approval
  3. Follow the procedures for establishing an agreement with a vendor from step 1
  4. Find farms that deliver CSAs in your area. Use the links below to start your search:
    1. Washington Farmers Markets
    2. Local Harvest
    3. Puget Sound Fresh Farm Guide / Cascade Harvest Coalition
    4. Tilth Producers Directory
    5. WSU Farm Finder

More resources

Contact

Email: wawellness@hca.wa.gov
Phone: 360-725-1700