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CSAs are a welcome alternative in pandemic times

Thanks to the coronavirus, Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA programs, enjoyed a very good year in 2020. And consumer interest should remain high this summer.

Introduced in Europe, CSAs  allow consumers to buy directly from farmers. In many respects it’s a quaint and sensible system that has taken on more significance during the coronavirus when control over what you eat and where you get it is so important. 

“Community supported agriculture in these upside-down times is more like agriculture supporting community,” said Walt Gajewski, Farmington’s market manager. “This is just another way that farmers markets are naturally relevant.”

Here are the basics: A farmer offers a certain number of shares for the public to buy. Typically the share — or membership or subscription —consists of a weekly box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers buy shares usually for the summer or half the summer and in return receive seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.

It's a simple enough idea, but its impact has been profound. Tens of thousands of families have joined CSAs over the last few years. In some areas of the country, demand exceeds the number CSA farms. LocalHarvest, the country’s leading local food website, has the most comprehensive directory of CSA farms, with more than 4,000 listed in its database.

Many of the farmers who come to the Farmington Farmers Market offer various versions of CSAs. Here’s their information for the 2021 season. Check back for updates. 

Beaverland Farms in Detroit is no longer taking orders for its spring CSAs. But it will have a summer CSA available in a few weeks that will start mid-June. Check their website to see when it opens up: https://beaverlandfarms.square.site/. The farm's pick-ups are on-site at the farm or at the farmers market.

The spring session is closed for orders, but we will have a summer CSA available in a few weeks, and the CSA will start mid-June. We will have that listed on our website when it opens up: https://beaverlandfarms.square.site/

Fusilier Family Farms’ CSA program will be back for another season. Each week members receive a basket of fresh, premium, all-natural produce throughout the 22-week season that lasts from June 1 through October.  For more information visit: http://fusilierfamilyfarms.com/content/6506

The Goetz Greenhouse and Family Farm has been offering CSAs since 2012. They come in two sizes — full shares are delivered to the market every week and half shares every other week June-October. Shares include a diverse selection of at least five items a week that are delivered to the market. For more information, go to: https://www.sites.google.com/site/goetzgreenhouse/csa---community-supported-agriculture

Kapnick Orchards, as you’d expect, offers an all-fruit CSA. This season will be its fifth. For more information, go to http://www.kapnickorchards.com/csa.html

Please check back for updates.