Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a decades old initiative for people to get direct market produce. Rick Hartmann, co-owner and operator of Small Potatoes farm in Dallas County Iowa, harvests fresh vegetables for members.
“We create a budget and then we split it up equally among the hundred families or so we serve here in central Iowa.” He says, “We’ve had really terrific support from the community of people that participate here at the farm.”
Emily Weaver is a member of the CSA, she says it was an easy choice. “I love to cook, I love to eat, and I like the choices that I can get here at the CSA. They’re fresh, they’re healthier, they taste so much better.”
Organic agriculture is a booming industry with a growing retail value of $35 billion annually.
Iowa State University has 75 Iowa CSA locations on record. They say membership costs can range from $150 dollars to $800 for 10 to 25 weeks of harvesting. The majority of the farms give about five to 20 pounds of vegetables to its members every week.
To find a local CSA in your area, ISU extensions has a free list: