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Environmental Health

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Community Supported Agriculture

Community supported agriculture consist of a community of people who pledge to financially support a local farm in their area. By making a financial commitment to the farm, people become members or shareholders of that particular farm. Community Supported Agriculture is a new strategy to help connect local farmers with local consumers to develop a strong local food supply. Community supported agriculture is also called CSA.

There are three groups of people who are involved in making community supported agriculture a success: farmers, consumers, and a core group.

Farmers do most or all of labor and ground work. Farmers do not have interference on how they farm. Depending on their agreement, Some farmers are dedicated to serve Community supported agriculture only, while other farmers sell through farm stands, farmers markets and other channels.

The core group makes sure the food is being distributed. Sometimes, the core group is responsible for collecting payments, organizing festivals, preparing the budget, paying the farmers, dealing with legal issues and finding more consumers. The core group consist of 7-15 people, which can include farmers.

The consumer group includes everybody including the farmers. Consumers can organize their own community supported agriculture projects by renting land and hiring their own farmers.

Many community supported agricultures offer a different variety of seasonal fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Some community supported agricultures provide farm produce including eggs, meat, milk, and baked goods. Some community supported agricultures are dedicated to helping the needs of their community, such as providing food to homeless people, and giving demonstrations to school children.

Food and Safety

With the arrival of Mad Cow Disease, the heightened concern over global climate change, and the practice genetic engineered food, many people are regarding community supported agriculture as an important part of homeland security.

Food Distribution

Once the daily produce has been harvested, the entire amount is weighed and the number of item given each share is determined. Some community supported agricultures members will go to the farm and weigh their own share and leave behind the items they don't want to other members.

Community supported agricultures movement

One of the most exciting things about the community supported agriculture movement is the formation of coalition community supported agricultures groups. Farmers can meet and share farming techniques, crops and equipment information.

Community supported agricultures helps farmers and growers receive a fair return on their products and keeps food dollars in the local community. Community supported agricultures also encourages communication between farmers so they can focus their time on growing nutritious produce rather than looking for buyers.

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