(By the way, brilliant marketing idea to explain that this CSA “event” is scheduled on what has been the most popular CSA sign up day of the year in the past. What similar idea could the farmers market field adopt I wonder?)
PITTSBURGH, PA (February 23, 2015): Farms from around the country are celebrating National CSA Sign-Up Day on February 28. The day encourages food consumers to buy a share of their local farm’s harvest for the 2015 season, a buying model known as Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA.
CSA has become an important model to support local agriculture since it was introduced to the United States in the 1980s and since grown to over 6,000 farms across the country. To join a CSA, members buy a share of the harvest in the Winter and Spring and then get a box of local produce each week throughout the growing season.
“CSAs are the most authentic connection between a farmer and eater available. CSA members get the freshest, high quality, seasonal local produce, but they also get a direct connection to their farmer. This model is economically important to farmers, especially small and beginning farmers, because they can grow with confidence knowing that they have a market for their produce ahead of time.”, says Simon Huntley from Small Farm Central, a technology company that works with CSA farms across the country, and the creator of National CSA Sign-up Day.
February 28th was chosen as National CSA Sign-up Day because this day is the most popular day to sign up for CSA shares according to the 2014 CSA Farming Report. Buying a CSA share in late winter is important because farmers are making the capital investments for this year’s harvest now and the CSA model means they do not need to finance these costs with costly credit.
“The CSA model was what allowed me to start my own farm business at age 23. Without the sale of CSA shares, I would not have been able to buy seeds, potting soil, fertilizer, or anything else. Six years later, my business is still going strong, and it’s because of the CSA. Access to capital in the off-season; the meaningful connections between farmers and CSA members; the sense of ownership and pride members feel about their CSA farms–all these things add up to healthy farms, businesses, and communities. The CSA model is good for everybody,” says Laura Olive Sackton, owner of First Root Farm in Concord, Massachusetts.
For eaters looking to join a CSA, a searchable database of CSA farms is available at localharvest.org.
To learn more about National CSA Sign-Up Day and the CSA model, visit http://www.csasignupday.com.
For more information, please contact:
Small Farm Central