Community Supported Agriculture
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) reconnects people with the farms
producing their food. Members pay an annual fee before the growing season
to help meet the farm’s early season expenses. Members pick up
their share of freshly picked and washed produce, flowers and herbs at
the farm. Each week the selection varies according to our harvest. Receive
fresh, local organic produce; save money over retail and farmer’s
market prices; become a steward of local farmland.
To gain another insight into why CSA and why local food, read this thoughtful piece by Amanda about her experience at Wellspring Farm. Perhaps you'll want to follow her adventures as well!
CSA - The Ultimate in Homeland Security!!
Why should I become a member?
Locally supported agriculture has been a tradition in Vermont for centuries. Small, local dairy farms served local markets through small local dairies. Do you remember the milk delivered to your door in bottles? More likely than not, the milk came from a few small local hillside farms and was bottled at a local dairy. But the future of the landscape of Vermont and the future of local agriculture are in doubt today.
The Vermont landscape that makes the state a special place has depended upon the effort and energy of farmers. Farmers have been the primary stewards of land in Vermont. Dairy farms have traditionally taken on that role. Dairy farmers cleared the land, keeping it open for grazing cattle and raising corn and hay crops for winter feed. Today more and more dairy farmers buy much of their feed and their cows never see the outside of large free stall barns.
This is not a criticism of our remaining dairy farmers. They must remain viable economic units or face bankruptcy. But this type of farming threatens the open land and scenery that Vermonters have come to expect as a birthright.
When farmers can no longer afford to keep our landscape open, who will?
Enter the concept of community supported agriculture (CSA). By becoming a member of a CSA you share in the risk of farming but also share in the benefit of having fresh food, locally grown. Wellspring Farm can only keep its small portion of land open and in production when members share in the risk and reward of farming. By buying a farmshare at Wellspring Farm you are supporting a local farm and the possibility of keeping the land open for yet another year. The cost of a share is converted to seeds, labor, taxes, fuel, electricity and all the other necessities of remaining a working farm.
We thank you in advance for your commitment to locally supported agriculture. We promise to be good stewards of your investment and of the land. In return for your investment, weather, bugs and other imponderables notwithstanding, we will provide you with a weekly fresh and nutritious harvest.
10 Good Reasons to Eat Local Food from Wellspring Farm
- Locally grown food tastes better. Food grown at Wellspring Farm is usually
harvested for you the day you pick it up. It's crisp, sweet and loaded
with flavor. Produce from California, Florida, Chile, or Mexico must travel
on trucks or planes and then it is stored in warehouses. Several studies
have shown that the average distance food travels from farm to plate is
- Local produce is better for you. The shorter to the time between
the farm and your table, the less likely it is that nutrients will be lost
from fresh food. Most fresh produce loses much of its nutritional value
within 48 hours of harvesting. Locally grown food, collected at our CSA
pick-up soon after harvest, retains its nutrients.
- Local food preserves genetic diversity. In the modern industrial agricultural
system, varieties are chosen for their ability to ripen simultaneously
and withstand harvesting equipment; for a tough skin that can survive packing
and shipping; and for an ability to have a long shelf life in the store.
In contrast, at Wellspring Farm, we grow a huge number of varieties to
provide a long season of harvest, an array of eye-catching colors, and
the best flavors.
- Local food is safer. With all the issues related to food safety
and homeland security, there’s an assurance that comes from looking
a farmer in the eye or walking in the fields where your food comes from.
At Wellspring, you get to know “your farmer” and know that
we take our responsibility to our members seriously.
- Local food supports local farm families. In Vermont and across the country,
farmers are a vanishing breed. And no wonder - commodity prices are at
historic lows, often below the cost of production. Local farmers who sell
direct to consumers cut out the middleman and get full retail price for
their food - which means farm families can afford to stay on the farm,
and keep it active.
- Local food builds community. When you buy direct from Wellspring, you
are engaging in a time-honored connection between eater and grower, and
you are supporting a local business. Getting to know folks who grow your
food helps you know more about the place and community in which you live.
And at our CSA, it gives you access to a farm where you, your children
and grandchildren can learn about nature and agriculture.
- Local food preserves open space. Our agricultural landscape will survive
only as long as farms are financially viable. When you buy locally grown
food, you are doing something proactive about preserving the agricultural
- Local food keeps taxes down. According to several studies, farms
contribute more in taxes than they require in services, whereas most residential
development contributes less in taxes than the cost of required services.
- Local food benefits the environment and wildlife. Our organic farm is
a place where the resources of fertile soil and clean water are valued.
We grow cover crops to prevent erosion and replace nutrients used by our
crops. Additionally, the habitat of our farm provides a home for wildlife.
- Local food is an investment in our future. By supporting local farmers
today, you can help ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow,
and that future generations will have access to nourishing, flavorful,
and abundant food. Buy local food. Sustain local farms.
Adapted from Massachusetts Grown and Fresh and ©2001
Growing for Market.