Our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, ran an interesting article today on the growth of Community Supported Agriculture (or CSA). We've been receiving a CSA box from Farm Fresh to You for the last number of months. It seems that the number of CSAs is growing rapidly. When we began the search for a CSA last year there were just a small handful of choices. Now there are more than 20 CSAs that deliver to the Bay Area.
Farm Fresh to You has seen...
...weekly deliveries shoot up by 1,000 in the last eight months, increasing from 500 customers in 2003 to 3,000 today.
The article goes on to talk about the impact of Michael Pollan's recent books, which describe our current food system, as a contributer to the increase in CSA subscribers.
With CSAs, customers have a direct relationship with the grower, who benefits from higher profit margins and market stability - the only way many small farms can compete.
Indeed, each delivery we get includes a letter from Thaddeus giving us an update on the farm--both good news and bad. Plus each letter includes recipes that include ingredients in that week's box.
Since most Northern California CSAs run year-round, farmers also can offer employees steady labor and benefits that are unheard of in California agribusiness.