There is an important concept woven into the CSA model that takes the arrangement beyond the usual commercial transaction. That is the notion of shared risk. In most CSAs, members pay up front for the whole season, and the farmers do their best to provide an abundant box of produce each week. If things are slim, members are not typically reimbursed. The result is feeling that we’re in this together.
We’re in this together.
Many times, the idea of shared risk is part of what creates a sense of community among members and between members and the farmers. If a bad storm or blight takes out the tomatoes, everyone is disappointed together and together cheer on the winter squash and peppers. Most CSAs farmers feel a great sense of responsibility to their members the, and when certain crops are scarce, they make sure the CSA gets served first.
Local and Seasonal Eating
Don’t expect all your produce to come from the CSA. Depending on the size of your family and how much you cook, you will probably find that you need to supplement each week. If you are not accustomed to eating seasonally, you may find it takes a while to transition from eating whatever is at the grocery store (pretty much everything) to whatever is in your CSA box (whatever is in season).
It may surprise you that tomatoes don’t ripen until August in this area. You should expect the season to start off lighter than it finishes. In most cases, the first crops will be salad greens, peas, green onions and the like. By the end of the season, the boxes should be much heavier, with things like winter squash, potatoes and tomatoes.
Now that you have a general idea of the shared risks and rewards of community supported agriculture, why not head over to our CSA page to learn more about how our particular program here in Gloversville/Johnstown works?