Backyard CSAs

by Lena
Mar 07, 2013

Community supported agriculture (CSA for short) is a model for growing food close to home and making sure the farmers that grow it have a sustainable income. Every year, community members pay a farmer for a share at the beginning of the growing season, and receive a weekly basket of fresh produce over the course of the season. It's a way to directly support the person growing your food, and ensure that they have a steady income - that normally wouldn't be so steady due to bad weather, or pests, or market prices going up and down. Farms also become a place of community this way - whether it's by going to the farm to pick up your produce, or by doing a workshare instead of paying money for your food, or even at end-of-the-season harvest meals! One really interesting version of the CSA is called a "Backyard CSA" because it makes use of, to quote the website of a Backyard CSA in Ottawa, "under-used green spaces" (http://vegetablepatch.ca/) to grow food - our own backyards! Instead of paying for a share, people can offer up their backyard to grow food in, and can get a share of the produce in return. The rest of the food goes towards other members of the CSA. It contributes to biodiversity in the urban environment, and also means the produce doesn't have to travel from the farm to the city - it's right there in your own backyard. Pretty cool!