Northwest NEWS

March 12, 2001

Features

Time for consumers to buy agricultural shares is now

Puget Sound Fresh, the region's organization to help consumers identify and purchase locally grown produce, reports that now is the time to locate and order from a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) to share in this year's crops.
   CSA farms, annually offer for purchase "shares" of the crops produced on the farm.
   Consumers pay their fees at the beginning of the season and then receive a bag or box of produce every week throughout that farm's production.
   CSAs offer a unique connection between farmers and consumers. The number of farms in our area using this innovative marketing approach has grown rapidly in recent years. Once the consumer purchases the "share," they are entitled to a weekly delivery of produce throughout the designated season. The shares are picked up at the farm or at a convenient drop site.
   The arrangement gives the consumer access to the freshest produce available at reasonable prices along with a direct connection to "their" farm and source of food. Many farms also provide the opportunity to participate in on-farm events such as harvest festivals.
   Farmers benefit by having a reliable market and a direct relationship with their customers.
   A directory of CSAs is available through Seattle Tilth, by visiting their Web site at www.seattletilth.org, or by calling (206) 633-0451. Consumers can use the directory to find a farm with a share price, growing season, crop variety and pick-up site that they desire. The directory includes farm contact information and a calendar of agricultural events throughout the year.