Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Frequently asked questions

 

What does being a shareholder involve?

For shareholders in Earthrise’s CSA program, each week brings surprises. Learning the behavior patterns of lettuce, spinach, peas, beans, beets, Swiss chard, tomatoes and a variety of herbs can be as unpredictable as the weather. A flexible shareholder is willing to share the risk management, as well as the taste of healthy eating. A newsletter offering storage and preparation tips, recipe ideas and happenings on the farm is tucked into each week’s box.


How much produce comes in a share?

A full share of food will feed approximately four people. Half shares are slightly more than half of a full share and will feed approximately two or three people.

 

How much does a share cost?

A full share costs $460 while a half share costs $360. You may also consider gifting a full or half share to a friend or the local food shelf. Please contact us to inquire further about this option.

 

How long does the growing season last?

About 20 weeks, from the end of May to early October.


How do I become a member?

Call or e-mail Earthrise to request a registration form for the 2008 season. Prices and payment options are available on request.


Partnership with Easy Bean Farm

In the 2006 season, farmers at Easy Bean Farm near Milan, MN grew all of the vegetables for their CSA boxes as well as all of the produce for Earthrise CSA boxes. Each week, an Earthrise delegation picks up produce from Easy Bean and brings it to Earthrise, where it is prepared and packed into boxes.

 

This partnership allows Earthrise to work more closely with other farmers and allows more time to focus on growing vegetables for new local farmer’s markets. In addition, many people come to Earthrise to purchase produce and the market for vegetables for local banquets is increasing (to our delight!).


16 reasons to join a CSA in your region

1. Organic produce

2. Fresh produce

3. Concern for healthy environment

4. Supports local food sources

5. Supports the small farmer

6. You know where/how your food is grown

7. Desire to eat vegetables in season

8. Desire to reduce packaging

9. Health reasons

10. A sense of doing something with purpose

11. An opportunity to connect to a piece of land

12. Price

13. Unusual varieties of food

14. A place to bring your children

15. An opportunity to attend festivals/events

16. An opportunity to be around animals


A Brief History of the CSA

Community Supported Agriculture is an exciting and rapidly growing form of farm management and marketing. It is also a great way for people to find the freshest possible, locally grown and usually organic or biodynamic products. There are CSA farms in every state and most provinces, and the numbers are increasing. These farms, under the CSA umbrella, can take many forms and have different arrangements with their members.

 

CSA farms can be traced to Japan in the mid 1960s. In 1965, a group of women approached a local farm family with an idea to address these issues and provide their families with fresh vegetables and fruits. The farmers agreed and a contract was drawn up and teikei, meaning “food with the farmer’s face on it”, was born.

 

The first documented CSA farm in the U.S. began in 1985 in western Massachusetts (van En 1988) Four years later, there were thirty-seven identifiable projects in the U.S. And Canada. In 1994 the number of CSA’s in the US was about four hundred. Informal estimates suggest close to one thousand in 1995.

 

In its simplest form, CSA is a contractual agreement between a farm and a group of consumers variously described as “shareholders.” “Members,” or “subscribers." At the beginning of the season, each member buys a share of the harvest at a predetermined price and in return receives products usually on a weekly basis. The core of CSA production is organic vegetables, but other products may be distributed as well: meat and poultry, dairy products, cider, honey, flowers, and even maple syrup