A CSA is a two-way seasonal commitment between you and your local farmer(s). Each CSA member pays for a seasonal share of food, and in exchange receives an array of mixed seasonal produce every week; some CSAs include dairy and other prepared foods as well. It is similar to a membership or buying club – each member becomes a part of the farm’s local food community by supporting their local farmer and committing to eating locally all season long.
The acronym “CSA” traditionally stands for Community Supported Agriculture; here at Greensgrow we call it City Supported Agriculture since we are an Urban Farm in the heart of Philadelphia. City Supported Agriculture’s goal is to bridge the urban/rural divide by providing Philadelphians with the finest and freshest the region has to offer while supporting our local family farms and neighboring small businesses. Greensgrow operates a cooperative CSA – since our urban footprint is so small, and our membership is so large, we fill our CSA share by working with a network of local farmers and food producers that we have vetted through our own evaluation process to ensure that each box is full of high quality and healthy products. If you click on our farmer profiles and vendor pages, you can see more information on our partner farmers and producers.
We have modeled our own CSA around how people truly cook and eat, catering to our distinctly urban following– there’s no other CSA quite like ours! We include a diverse spread of fruits, vegetables, and dairy or vegan protein options, whereas our friends who belong to CSAs with single farm models may receive windfall portions of certain veggies throughout their peak season, with less variety because they only see food from one farm. In the winter we offer a local meat option, as well as 2 add on share options, coffee and cheese. This gives our members a breadth of foods that our region has to offer, bringing together the best of urban and rural: a neighborhood farm, food fresh from the country, and Philadelphia’s own unique epicurean traditions, including the occasional locally prepared food such as preserves or bread. Our members tell us that our CSA is more user friendly than others because of these factors.
Additionally, belonging to a cooperative CSA helps to mediate the risk of joining a CSA because you are receiving food from many farms. If you join a single farm CSA and they suffer a major crop loss from weather, pests or some other factor, as a CSA member your share will be smaller or skip a week; with a cooperative CSA, we can reach out to other farms to keep your weekly box full of value.
CSA’s are not the right buying vehicle for everyone. If you are considering it, we suggest that you start with a half summer share to see how it works for you and your household. Sometimes neighbors and families split their share as well, so they don’t feel over-committed.
Thank You for Supporting Greensgrow and Local Farms!
If you have any questions, contact the CSA hotline at 215.380.4355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eat well. Eat local.